Importance of Fire Hose Size
When arriving on the scene of a fire, emergency crews have to make quick, on-the-spot decisions for approaching the situation. Arguably, one of the most crucial determinations that needs to be made is which hose lines are best suited for the circumstances. Fire severity, type of property, amount of required hose, and suppression tactics are all factors that influence what size and type of hose should be used. Choose correctly; the blaze has a better chance of being contained. Get it wrong; the situation can take a turn for the worse. Two essential hoses operated by firefighters are attack and supply hoses. In this article, the BullDog Hose team highlights why hose size matters when approaching a fire.
Attack hoses, such as BullDog’s Hi-Combat II®, Firepower II™, Ultima™, and Fireguard™, are designed to tackle fires in their beginning stages and offer flexible approaches to different types of fires. The most common attack line sizes that fire departments deploy are 1.75 inches and 2.5 inches. Both sizes have pros and cons, depending on the situation at hand. Deciding to work with one format over the other can dictate the effectiveness of the initial suppression efforts. Smaller diameter hoses require much higher pressure to move lower volumes of water.
When working with the 1.75-inch hose, it is most useful for taking on residential and vehicle fires. This hose size is much lighter and more maneuverable than the 2.5-inch line. A more compact design makes it easier for firefighters to move the line through hallways, stairwells, and small rooms. Generally, this hose can be operated by two to three firefighters and can deliver water around 140 to 200 gallons per minute (gpm). So this is the desired hose to utilize when suppressing smaller fires. Being relatively easier to manage, 1.75-inch hoses tend to be a ‘catch-all’ when first responding to a fire. If attempting to tackle larger blazes, the 2.5-inch attack hose should be fielded.
A 2.5-inch hose line is the best choice when responding to more significant commercial buildings and exterior fires. With the ability to deliver high volumes of water at 200 to 300 gpm, this hose can take on more of the fire load than the smaller 1.75-inch attack line. The 2.5-inch hose can be more challenging to control in smaller spaces and is commonly handled by three to four firefighters.
Keeping the attack lines charged and operating at their best efficiency all depends on the supply hoses. These hoses, like BullDog’s Hi-Vol® and Hi-Vol TPU™, can be found in sizes ranging from 3 to 6 inches in diameter. The bigger supply lines move high volumes of water from hydrants and fire engines to the attack lines. With the larger diameter, supply hoses can carry more water at lower pressures. Relocating supply lines can be difficult once the water begins flowing.
For more information about BullDog Hose Company, please visit www.bulldoghose.com.