The Power of Proper Fire Hose Placement
Tips For Hoseline Placement
When arriving at the scene of a fire, the first 3-5 minutes are critical to developing and establishing a successful plan. Where the hoses are placed and positioned significantly affects how quickly a fire is contained and extinguished. Improper placement of hoselines can lead to disastrous outcomes for those that need rescuing, firefighters, and structures. When laying out fire hose, the following areas should be the main priority: protecting human life, confining the blaze, and extinguishing the fire. We’ve assembled some hoseline placement tips that focus on meeting those priorities.
Approaching Structural Fires
The first attack hoseline is critical in establishing a primary means of egress as well as getting a hoseline between potential occupants and the fire. Hoses should be stretched through front and rear building entrances. Always place enough hose at the front and rear door for interior firefighting hose advancements to prevent needing to add hose sections to the attack hoseline after it has been charged with water. From there, the placement of hoses varies depending on the type of structure.
For one-story structure fires, when possible, hoses should be placed to cut off the fire and drive it back to where it originated. If an open entrance through an unburned area is available, take the line through that area. This option allows firefighters to be in a better position for preventing the blaze from moving throughout the rest of the building. Taking this approach, rather than attacking from the outside, also stops any venting flames from being unintentionally pushed further into the building.
In cases where there are occupants in the building, or when the fire is located in escape routes, first position a line that protects residents and opens paths for people to escape. Suppressing fire in these situations requires fast action.
When responding to a fire in a multi-level structure, aside from positioning hoses to protect lives, stairways should be the main area where hoses are placed. Staircases act in the same manner as chimneys, funneling smoke, and combustible materials upward towards the rest of the building. Placing the first hoseline in a stairway opens up an escape route, reduces the chance for fires to grow, and leaves a path open for additional firefighters and equipment.
Placing Back-Up Lines
Having back-up lines is a great way to reinforce firefighting efforts on the scene. With an uncharged line ready near the first attack hose, you can respond quickly if assistance is needed. Including additional lines at any egress or critical pathway is another strategy to consider. Also, if possible, position hoses above the seat of the fire to extinguish any spread of the blaze.
While there are plenty of additional strategies involving hose placement, these tips cover some of the most fundamental approaches to addressing structural fires. For more information about world-class hoses, see BullDog’s fire, industrial, and agricultural hose product lines.