What is Fire Hose?
A fire hose is a high-pressure hose that carries water or another fire retardant (such as foam) to a fire to extinguish it. Outdoors it is attached to a fire engine or water pump, and indoors, it can be permanently connected to a building’s standpipe or plumbing system. The usual working pressure of a fire hose can vary between 8 and 20 bar (800 and 2,000 kPa; 116 and 290 psi), while its bursting pressure is up to 72 bar (7,200 kPa; 1,036 psi).
A fire hose comprises one or more layers of woven fabric impregnated with rubber or PVC. The outer layer is designed to resist abrasion and withstand exposure to UV light. The inner layer is a liner that is compatible with the contents being conveyed (water, foam, fire extinguishing agent).
Fire hoses are manufactured in different diameters. The most common sizes are 25mm (1″), 38mm (1.5″), 50mm (2″), 65mm (2.5″), 80mm (3″), and 100mm (4″). The length of the hose also varies but is usually between 30m and 50m.
How does Fire Hose Work?
The working principle of a fire hose is very simple. It uses the power of water to extinguish the fire. The water is forced into the hose by a pump and is discharged through the nozzle at high pressure. The water jet’s force breaks up the fire’s structure and puts it out.
For a fire hose to work effectively, it must be properly connected to the water supply. The hose is usually connected to a fire hydrant or water pump. The hydrant is used to supply water to the hose, and the pump increases the water’s pressure so it can reach the nozzle.
Once the hose is connected to the water supply, the nozzle is opened, and the water is discharged at high pressure. The water jet’s force breaks up the fire’s structure and puts it out.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fire Hose
Advantages of Fire Hose
There are many advantages to using a fire hose. Firstly, it is a very effective way to extinguish a fire. The high-pressure water jet breaks up the structure of the fire and puts it out quickly. Secondly, it is very versatile and can be used in various situations. It can be used to extinguish fires of different types, such as liquid or electrical fires. Thirdly, it is very easy to use. All you need to do is connect the hose to the water supply and open the nozzle. Fourthly, it is very portable and can be easily carried to the fire site.
Disadvantages of Fire Hose
There are some disadvantages to using a fire hose as well. One of the main disadvantages is that it requires a lot of water to extinguish the fire. This can be a problem if there is a limited water supply. Another disadvantage is that it is not very effective in high winds. The high-pressure water jet can be blown away from the fire by the wind, making it less effective.
Types Of Fire Hose
There are two main types of fire hose:
- Class A: This type of fire hose is used to extinguish fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, or cloth. It is made of a synthetic rubber inner layer and a natural rubber or PVC outer layer.
- Class B: This type of fire hose is used to extinguish fires in flammable liquids, such as gasoline or oil. It is made of a synthetic rubber inner layer and a nitrile rubber or PVC outer layer.
Class A fire hoses are more common because they can be used for various fires. Class B fire hoses are less common because they can only be used for fires in flammable liquids.
What Are Suction Hose, And Delivery Hose?
The suction hose draws water from a fire hydrant or water pump. It is usually made of PVC and is attached to the pump by a coupling.
A delivery hose is used to carry water from the fire hydrant or water pump to the nozzle. It is usually made of rubber and is attached to the nozzle by a coupling.
Fire Hose Nozzles
There are two main types of fire hose nozzles:
- Straight stream nozzle: This type of nozzle produces a straight stream of water. It is more effective at penetrating deep-seated fires.
- Fog nozzle: This type of nozzle produces a mist of water. It is more effective at extinguishing surface fires.
The type of nozzle used depends on the type of fire being extinguished. For example, a straight stream nozzle would be used for a deep-seated fire, while a fog nozzle would be used for a surface fire.
Types Of Fire Hose Rolls
There are two main types of fire hose rolls:
- Attack roll: This type of roll is used to carry the fire hose to the site of the fire. It is usually made of canvas or nylon and carries a handle.
- Storage roll: This type of roll is used to store the fire hose when it is not in use. It is usually made of PVC or nylon and has a strap for carrying.
Fire hose rolls are important because they allow the fire hose to be easily transported to the fire site. They also protect the fire hose from damage when it is not in use.
When choosing a fire hose, it is important to consider the type of fire you will use. There are different types of fire hoses for different types of fires. The most common type of fire hose is the attack roll. It is important to choose a fire hose that is made of materials that will not be damaged by the type of fire you are using it for.
Methods of Rolling Fire Hose
There are three common methods of rolling fire hoses: the basket weave, figure eight, and spiral.
- The basket weave is the most common method and is used for all types of fire hoses. It is easy to learn and is quick to roll.
- The figure-eight is used for larger diameter hoses and is more difficult to learn. It is slower to roll than the basket weave.
The spiral is used for smaller diameter hoses and is the most difficult to learn. It is the slowest roll of all the methods.
No matter which method you choose, it is important to practice so that you can roll the hose quickly and efficiently.
All firefighters must undergo extensive training before they are on duty fighting fires. A portion of that training involves learning how to roll a fire hose. Several methods of rolling a hose can be employed, depending on the situation.
While some of these methods are taught on the job, it is best to be aware of the ones most common to your firehouse to ensure you follow protocol.
Roll Hose For Storage Purposes
One of the most basic methods of rolling a fire hose is the straight roll. This method is typically used when the hose is loaded on the back of a fire truck or when it is placed in storage at the firehouse. To roll a hose using this method, lay the hose flat on a clean surface.
Then, begin to roll the end of the hose that connects to the water source, also known as the male coupling, toward the other end. Ensure the coil is open enough to insert your fingers in the middle.
As the roll increases in size, keep its edge aligned on the remaining hose. This will help keep the roll uniform according to the state of Illinois’ firefighter protocol. Once you have finished the roll, lay it flat on the ground. Then, use your foot to push down any jutting coils.
Rolling for Direct Use
The donut roll method is best used in situations when the hose is going to be deployed directly for use. This method allows the hose to roll out easier and facilitates connection to other couplings. Like the straight roll method, the hose lay flat and without twists.
Then, fold the hose in half, with the male end on top, about two feet away from the opposite, or female, end. Complete the roll from the folded end. After you have finished, check your work and ensure the male coupling is still inside the roll, with the female coupling a few feet ahead of it.
Additional Methods for Firehose Rolling
The donut roll and straight method are the most common rolling methods used by firefighters. However, other methods may be more beneficial for certain situations. For example, the twin donut roll works well for hoses that are approximately 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches thick. It can be done by laying both ends of the hose side by side.
Then, roll the hose up from the fold side, making the hose into two side-by-side rolls, according to Prichard-Murray Volunteer Fire Department in Idaho. The end fold will have a decreased diameter, making it more compact and easier to carry.
If you want to carry the hose over your shoulder, roll a hose using the self-locking donut roll method. It is basically the same as the donut roll method explained above, except it has a handle made from the hose itself.