Task Force Tips - FAQs Task Force Tips Fire Fighting Equipment Nozzles, Monitors, Piercing Nozzles, Manifold, Ball Intake Valves, PRO/pak, Blitzfire and Suction Hose
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1 How do you estimate the fire flow required by room size?
Answer:  A very quick, easy to use, and easy to remember formula from the National Fire Academy (NFA) can be used to estimate fire flow in structural fire attack.

The formula is L x W /3 (Length times Width, divided by 3).

Using this formula will give you the needed water flow in gallons per minute (GPM) to darken the fire in 10 - 30 seconds, when applied properly. It can also be adjusted for percent of involvment and if necessary, add 25% for each exposure. Here are some examples:

Example 1.

15 ft. x 20 ft. room, fully (100%) involved, no exposures.

15 x 20 = 300 sq. ft., divided by 3 = 100 GPM

Example 2.

If the room in Example 1 is only half involved, use the formula like this: 15 x 30 /3 = 100 GPM x 50% = 50 GPM.

Example 3.

If you have a structure, such as a two-car garage that is 24 x 24 that is fully involved with an exposure, the formula would go like this. (Round up the dimensions, if it will make it simpler):

25 x 25 / 3 = approx. 200 GPM. Add 50 GPM (25% of the flow rate) for the exposure = 250 GPM total.

2 Is there any truth to the claim that a rural department using tanker shuttle should "Conserve" its water as opposed to a department that has hydrants?
Answer:  NO! Hit it HARD! Hit it FAST! Applying a small amount of water (less than the critical application rate) will not put out the fire, and you will probably be shuttling water until the fire building burns down to a point where your application rate is proper for the fire, which is now small, because you have burnt up all the fuel. Properly applying a high flow early on (at or above the critical application rate) will darken the fire immediately, property will be saved, and overall water usage will be less, compared with the previous, low flow scenario.
3 If we pump a 2" line equipped with a TFT nozzle @ 280 psi we can place an effective stream on the interior ceiling of a two story building.My question is why can't our neighboring departments be progressive enough to accept this practice?
Answer:  The short answer is "We don't know why they don't" The long answer is indeed long. Over the past 20 years we have seen all of our equipment improve, stronger pumps, bigger engines, vastly improved hose and nozzles, large sizes of hose that are still hand held (2inch is an example) and yet we have seen pump pressures and nozzle pressures go lower and lower. We scream out loud WHY???? We pay huge sums of money to get all this equipment and then are afraid to use it to it's capability to reduce the stress on our people. Somewhere the idea got started that lower pump pressures somehow make it easier on the hose crew. We think that we should be using these high powered pumpers to develop higher pressures so that more water can be moved thru smaller more maneuverable hose lines. The whole idea of applying large volumes FAST is to get the fire out and get the crews out of harms way as fast as possible.
4 Has anyone in your company ever condoned a firefighter going into the center of an involved room, putting a combination nozzle on fog, holding it close to the ceiling until the fire "darkens" down and switching to a stream to hit the base? If so why?
Answer:  The short answer is NO, the longer answer is that there is no possible way that I can say with 100% accuracy that no one "EVER" did this. I would hope not, it is not something that you will find in any of our literature of that I can be 100% sure. The fire service is full of rumors and I am pleased to have this forum to publicly make it clear that this is not the TFT position. What you will find in our literature is that we feel that the stream from a combination nozzle is every bit equal too and better than that of a smooth bore. We believe that having a fog stream available at a moments notice is a safety concern that far too many people overlook. The notion that a stream from a combination nozzle some how evaporates as it reaches the seat of the fire versus the smooth bore which doesn't is baloney. In fact the facts would indicate that a combination nozzle will penetrate better than a smooth bore. Think for a minute about a child passing a finger thru the flame of a candle. The faster it is done the less the heat is felt, RIGHT? Ok now transfer that to water going thru a hot fire. Out of which nozzle does the water move faster? Nozzle pressure and nozzle velocity are directly related. The water leaving the end of a smooth bore nozzle at 50 PSI is moving at exactly HALF the speed of the water leaving the nozzle of a combination nozzle at 100 PSI. We feel that many people have taken the combination nozzles away from firefighters rather than teach them the proper application of them. Stewart G. McMillan President
5 My dept. recently switched to using 1 3/4 inch preconnect hose lines flowing up to 175 gpm. However, I have received several complaints concerning manouverability of the hose on interior attack. Has any other depts. expierenced this problem? Prior to the 1 3/4 inch lines, 1 1/2 inch lines were in use in the dept.
Answer:  By changing to 1 3/4" hose and increasing your flow, you have greatly increased your fire attack capabilities. We hear that comment quite often about the hose being a little less flexible, however, if the pump pressure is lowered to make the hose more managable, the flow is also reduced, and you may not be using the full fire fighting power you gained by switching to the larger hose. Also, depending on the brand and type of hose you are using (all hose is not created equal), operating at lower pump pressures and lower flows may increase the chances of kinking the hose, which can severly decrease the flow and put firefighters at greater risk. Keep your flows up and take advantage of the higher flow rates your 1 3/4" is capable of.
6 We currently use TFT's on 2 1/2 hoseline using a reducer to 1 1/2 thread (as is on the TFT)--- we are told by some that this is not proper -- "2 1/2" nozzles should be used on 2 1/2" hose--using the reducer is N.G.- "you're using a 1 1/2 nozzle on a 2 1/2 line"----- I believe there is nothing wrong in using a reducer - thus having more versatility in being able to use the nozzles on 1 3/4" or 2 1/2 hose while achieving proper flows for each. What's the correct info????? Thanks - Jim
Answer:  There is NOTHING wrong with what you are doing as long as the nozzle is RATED for the flow range that you want. If for example it is a TFT 50-350 then it can flow the range of a 1.5 1.75 or a 2 inch or a 2.5 inch or in some cases a 3 inch hose. The whole idea behind that nozzle was to use the fact that it was automatic to give a wider flow range so that the same nozzle can be used on any size line thus saving the fire department money and reducing confusion among the troops. Clearly to put a 95 GPM nozzle on a 2.5 with the adapter would not gain you any advantage. It is clear from your request however that you understand that already.
7 Regarding your nozzle setting: Is Standard ( blue ) for Exterior fire attack and red ( low pressure ) for Interior attack
Answer:  Standard setting will allow the nozzle to operate at either 100 psi or 75 psi, depending on the particular model of Dual Pressure nozzle. This will typically give you more reach, compared to the same nozzle at the same flow in the low pressure setting. Low pressure setting will allow more flow from the nozzle, without needing to change the pump discharge pressure. However, stream reach and fog pattern will be effected, due to lower velocity of the stream. Depending on the hose being used, it may tend to kink more easily when the nozzle is in the low pressure setting. This is a function of the hose, its brand, construction, age and condition. TFT suggests a department tests and trains with the equipment being utilized, and conditions typically encountered and determine what is right for your department and personnel. As far as Blue for exterior and Red for interior, that is what SOME departments have determined as their guideline.
8 Hi there, In my Department, we use 5" Crossfire Monitor and we have a doubt of securing this monitor technique. So could you confirm if we have to anchor it by its strap provided with and what if we don't have this strap? can w make a loop in front of the monitor if we keep 10' fo straight hose behind the monitor? Thank you.
Answer:  Please review the instructions for the Crossfire Monitor. You may view these on our website www.tft.com . The following link will get you directly to the instructions. lix-030 . Section 4 covers the deployment of the monitor and attachment of the safety strap to an anchor. It also covers the need to have at least 10 feet of straight hose behind the monitor. It is best to anchor the monitor with the strap, even if you need to drive a metal stake of sufficient length into the ground, if no other anchor point is provided ahead of the monitor base. You may also attach two straps or other anchoring means, to two anchor points, as it mentions in the instructions. It is not recommended to loop the hose in front of the monitor, as hose tends to straighten itself when under pressure. This may cause the monitor to slide in an arc, if not sufficiently anchored. Having at least 10 feet of straight hose behind the monitor helps in transferring the high nozzle reaction to the ground and is the safest method. Also, the monitor nozzle elevation should never be lowered below the safety stop pin elevation angle. Doing this causes the reaction force to reach outside of the footprint of the base and legs, and could cause the monitor to become unstable.
9 We carry ProPak foam units on all our engines. I understand this unit supplies only 12 gpm. We currently run two and three person crews on an engine, and send two engines on a vehicle fire. Right now we use one preconnected line manned by two firefighters using our standard nozzle and plain water. My question is what tactic do you suggest for vehicle fires using the ProPak?
Answer:  Your department sounds typical of many around the country. Having the preconnected line (minimum recommended flow of 125 GPM)is a good choice for a car or small pick up truck fire. The PRO/pak is best suited for the overhaul phase of extinguishment. The foam will help the water penetrate, smother and extinguish the smoldering Class A materials, such as tires, upholstery and other ordinary combustibles found in a vehicle. This will also quickly reduce the smoke, and make quick work of the overhaul, so your engines can be placed in service. You may find you will use less water OVERALL, by overhauling with the foam. If you have a fuel spill, the proper Class B foam concentrate should be used for the fuel involved. Always use the preconnect for initial extinguishment, as the PRO/pak is a low flow device. Many departments run with two PRO/paks, one with Class A foam and one for Class B. The Class A can also be used sucessfully for overhaul on structure fires, and for dumpsters, wildland, and other deep seated Class A materials. Please refer to our website for an excellant PowerPoint training program, with a section on foam specifically.
10 we have converted to all TFT Handline 50-350gpm nozzles on our apparatus. Do the six detent postions define an particular gallonage flow or % of flow rate. example: 200ft of 1 3/4" hose with a pump discharge pressure of 150psi = approx 125 gpm. This is at full open position - correct? What is the flow rate at 1st detent, 2nd detent, etc? what is the nozzle reaction in pounds? does this change at the same rate or detent positioning. We are hearing that some insurance companies are recommending a decrease in pump discharge pressure to prevent injuries of firefighters at the nozzle end due to excessive reaction pressure. If we decrease below the 100psi recommended nozzle pressure how does the TFT perform for our 100psi automatice handline nozzle. Should we have to do this given the detent flow control provided by the nozzle itself.
Answer:  Let me address the concern that insurance companies are reccomending lower pressures first. Not True, simply put this is a fire service myth. There is no evidence that the decrease in pressure is safer than a higher pressure. The reaction force is reduced some but at the same time you reduce the fog pattern effectiveness and the stream reach and punch. There are some nozzle manufacturers that are pushing this low pressure thing without a lot of regard for the downside factors. If it was as simple as lowering the pressure then lets take it all the way down to an open hose line and go back to sticking it into the window. All of life is a compromise and nozzle pressure is one of those choices. We make automatics that maintain 50 PSI and some that maintain 75 PSI and some that maintain 100. As for the detent question please refer to number 50 under the NOZZLES FAQ on this website.
11 With you Max-Force dual-pressure automatic nozzles. Should the pump operator consider their nozzle pressure to be 55psi in the low pressure setting and 100psi on the standard setting, or should they always use 100psi as the nozzle pressure?
Answer:  The Max-Force dual pressure automatic nozzle will flow from 100 to 500 GPM. The pump operator can consider the nozzle pressure to be 55 psi, when the nozzle is set to the low pressure setting, and 100 psi when in the standard setting. Please review the flow/psi graphs in the Max-Force instruction booklet for actual psi range of the nozzle. For simplicity, use 55 and 100 for low and standard pressure settings respectively.