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A common teaching method is being taught to firefighters concerning fog nozzles. The saying goes something like this; "Right for reach/Left for life." This is teaching firefighters that if they get into trouble during an interior attack from heat or fire, they should turn their nozzle all the way to the left to give them protection. I know this method works for outside, propane fires but I have my doubts about using for interior attacks.

Have you used this method? What were the results?

Let er rip!

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Replies to This Discussion

Some badly blistered ears, wrists and a most expeditious retreat from the home.........Left (on a fog nozzle) is not for life, rather it should stand for "Light you up".
Left for lobster!!!!!
left for lobster... you kill me... roflma
I guess it depends on how much water you put in there as to how much steam you generate. My department practices compartment fire behaviour techniques where applicable so we might have some different views on fog nozzles. But for sure you have to be careful what you do with the fog stream.

Left for life is best suited for outside operations... maybe that's what we should be teaching?
Steve, I'm guessing your not in the USA? If I'm right, then I'll go on an assume that you probably don't have many structures that are built entirely out of wood?
Steam burns!!
Left is for the medical leave I'll end up on, because I'm steamed, literally, when my step-man doesn't listen to an order! This touchy feely Fire Service we live in today, is putting many of us at risk. Sorry Mike for the minor rant, but, this one struck a cord.
Ranting is permitted in Pandora's box. Rant away
Hi Mike, Yes I'm in Australia and our construction is slighty different. Our tactics are also slightly different, probably due to the different construction. It's alway interesting to see how other people do things, I think our methods are more similar to england (who'd a thought). I've been to Orange County (CA) recently and I noticed the different materials in homes. I've heard you guys have some of the highest energy content constructions, is that right?

Mike Walker said:
Steve, I'm guessing your not in the USA? If I'm right, then I'll go on an assume that you probably don't have many structures that are built entirely out of wood?
The wood frame construction causes us to operate differently. If the structure is all masonry then the fire fuel consists of the contents,. This means that though the fire can and is quite dangerous it can be successfully suppressed with steam that is produced by a fog nozzle. Since a wood structure also has a large attic space, also constructed entirely out of wood a large combustible void is ever present. The main fire stopping feature in our houses is gypsum wall board, also called sheetrock. It does a good job for a short time but once the fire gets around it, we're off to the races.

Americans like big fluffy furniture that creates an extreme amount of fuel that also produces a wicked toxis smoke. If a fire starts and the occupants are asleep, their only hope of self evacuating is a loud smoke detector and hopefully light enough sleepers that wake up hearing the alarm. If they don't self rescue, then it is up to us. Though steam can/will suppress fire propogation it also creates havoc for trapped victims, in other words, the steam will kill them. So with that and many other things I haven't mentioned, we must employ an aggressive form of ventilation that permits the toxic fumes to exit before they build up inside the structure killing the victims. We also have to get that smoke out before it creates a flashover. The smoke in our fires can flashover in temperatures as low as 600 Farenhiet. We have used the steam method in the past but it is having less and less effectiveness due to our constructuoin methods. Therefore we have had to switch to a solid stream in order to extinguish the fires and also have a chance for rescue
We have gypsum (called gyprock here) but very few houses have attics. A majority of construction is wood frame nailed together with "gang nails" on the roof trusses. I agree not every situation is right for gas cooling. I look at it more as just 1 tool in the toolbox. I have never used a smooth bore nozzle and I would be interested in seeing their effectiveness. We don't practice vertical ventilation here either, everything horizontal.

Mike Walker said:
The wood frame construction causes us to operate differently. If the structure is all masonry then the fire fuel consists of the contents,. This means that though the fire can and is quite dangerous it can be successfully suppressed with steam that is produced by a fog nozzle. Since a wood structure also has a large attic space, also constructed entirely out of wood a large combustible void is ever present. The main fire stopping feature in our houses is gypsum wall board, also called sheetrock. It does a good job for a short time but once the fire gets around it, we're off to the races.

Americans like big fluffy furniture that creates an extreme amount of fuel that also produces a wicked toxis smoke. If a fire starts and the occupants are asleep, their only hope of self evacuating is a loud smoke detector and hopefully light enough sleepers that wake up hearing the alarm. If they don't self rescue, then it is up to us. Though steam can/will suppress fire propogation it also creates havoc for trapped victims, in other words, the steam will kill them. So with that and many other things I haven't mentioned, we must employ an aggressive form of ventilation that permits the toxic fumes to exit before they build up inside the structure killing the victims. We also have to get that smoke out before it creates a flashover. The smoke in our fires can flashover in temperatures as low as 600 Farenhiet. We have used the steam method in the past but it is having less and less effectiveness due to our constructuoin methods. Therefore we have had to switch to a solid stream in order to extinguish the fires and also have a chance for rescue
Oh yes, the genius of gang nails. The department I work for has always used fog nozzles and is just now beginning to use smoothbores. Even though 95% of our guys still have the fog nozzle on their lines, they use a straight stream for interior attacks. The comment that is going around now, "right for reach" means they adjust the fog nozzle to a straight stream by turning the fog adjustment all the wat to the right, and "left for life", turning the fog nozzle adjustment all the way to left gives a very wide fog pattern. I'm sure the practice has come from LPG training where firefighters are taught to use a wide fog pattern to protect them from the fire.

My major concern with instructors advocating this practice for interior attack protection is that inside a structure fire, there is no clean, cool air that is being drawn into stream. The entire atmosphere is very hot and fuel contaminated. By using the wide fog pattern in an extremely hot environment, the water quickly, almost instantly, turns to steam. The super heated moisture infiltrates our bunker gear, causing a very painful experience. If the situation is bad enough, it burns the dickens out of the crew.

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