Choosing the right fire hose nozzle will increase your department’s ability to respond to and extinguish fires. Nozzles are a critical component of firefighting equipment, and the nozzle type will affect how the water is applied to the flames, creating a variety of spray patterns from straight steam to a protective fog. When selecting a nozzle, consider factors such as spray pattern capability, maximum flow rate, and durability.
Nozzles are available in a variety of materials, but metal—especially brass—nozzles will last the longest. Additionally, it’s important to choose a nozzle that has an easily accessible lever or rotational control that opens and closes with no more than three pounds of force. In addition, nozzles should be able to withstand high and low temperatures as well as rough handling tests in which they’re dropped repeatedly on hard surfaces while connected to a charged, uncharged or empty hose.
Another factor that can influence your choice of nozzle is the amount of firefighters you have on hand. If your department has limited resources, you might want to select a nozzle with lower reaction force. Constant gallonage nozzles, for example, have a higher reaction force, which can become overwhelming for a small workforce. Instead, a smooth-bore or automatic spray nozzle might be better for your team’s needs. A nozzle should also be easy to inspect and maintain. Checking for a tight coupling connection, a good seal with the hose, and a clean, working gasket is essential. fire hose nozzles