A fire fighting nozzle is one of the most important tools in the arsenal. It is often overlooked, but it plays a key role in the delivery of water and extinguishing fires. When a firefighter takes the time to inspect and understand their nozzle they can make sure it is performing the job it was designed for.
Nozzles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. They can also be designed to disperse foam solutions such as an aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). While some nozzles have been around for a while, many new options are available in today’s market.
The type of nozzle a firefighter chooses depends on their tactics and performance needs. The nozzles that are most commonly used are the smooth-bore nozzles, which have been in the fire service for years and can be used at a wide range of engine pump pressures. These nozzles provide the best reach/gpm and water flow combination of all nozzles.
Another important factor when selecting a firefighting nozzle is the spray pattern. The shape of the stream determines how much coverage it will provide and its ability to penetrate burning material. The nozzle creates a restriction at the end of its waterway that changes water pressure to velocity, providing the “reach” needed to get the water to the seat of the fire.
Constant/select gallonage nozzles allow for manual adjustment to effect a predetermined discharge rate while the nozzle is flowing. They are ideal for defensive fire conditions and exposure protection and can be switched to fog spray when needed to reduce visibility or for rescue operations.