Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

I voted on todays quick vote on the magazines homepage,

What kind of nozzle do you have on your high-rise pack?
Smooth bore

These answers actually are disturbing. There is a great lack of understanding in the fire service when it comes to standpipes. I have 2 pictures and I hope they come through. One is D.C, and the other is my own department before we switched to smoothbores. Any thoughts on this?
PS, I don't consider "break away" nozzles with slug tips smoothbore. Who is going to think of doing this in the heat of battle?

Views: 947


Replies to This Discussion

The picture of the TFT that is clogged was a fire that I was on., Thirty five feet of the 50 ft length of 1 3/4" hose was clogged with scales (turburculine), news paper, rocks, crack viles and a mouse. The line was so filled that if you did not know what happened, you would thing that you had a charged line. The shutoff of the nozzles was stuck in the open position. The hoseline could not be shut at the nozzle, so the whole hose had to be shut down. In fact, we did not even bother and stretched a 3 inch line with a gated wye, and put more budles on that.
The DC example, is a slug tip. It is my opinion the glove could have been pulled through. IThe next job we had, the crew flowed the hoseline and we used 2 1/2". The officer elected not to have too much water damage and used an open butt. Have you ever opened a can of cranberry sauce? When you dump the contents, it stands straight up just like the shape of the can. Well this is what the mud looked like coming out of the open butt of a 2 1/2" hose line.
Stanpipes are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get!
I am very curious as to how many others have experienced the same problems you have described in your last post. I have not seen anything close to that but I have experienced but I have seen on more then one occasion where a standpipe/sprinkler combination system had a pipe failure due to the pressure in the system. Which, by the way, was not even to the rated pressure.
Thanks, admittedly I have not done much training on th 3D theory. I do understand that the principle requires a fog nozzle vs. the SB to attain the "many drops of water".

Similarly, I haven't sought out "flashover" training in the "box" as I really don't see it as largely beneficial. I know that you can show students some of the indicators of an impending flashover and then the actual ignition of the products of combustion, but to me it's not the whole picture. Part of the key components to flashover is the heating, radiating of heat, re-radiation and off gassing of everything combustible in the room. These conditions cannot be obtained in a metal compartment. I assume the combustible fuel flashover simulator must be more realistic in showing these conditions? Sadly, I've had the fortune of asking many fairly inexperienced firefighters what they learned in the flashover training they attended. Most could only come up with having seen a few of the indicators leading to flashover, but were excited to talk about "how cool it was!" So I'm still skeptical of the over all value in this type of training. But please do not take this for criticism of your work or the information your providing. It's all knowledge and tools.
I have more pictures to prove it. Teaching a Standpipe operations classe, in another city, a large potatoe sized rock appeard in the outlet. The way the Control FF knew of this was that the inline gauge showed an interuption of pressure.
The Brothers in the FDNY who I am friends with will tell you that a wet system is less vandleized than a dry, as the tenents do not wish to have to move out of housiing due to water damage. The dry systems are pretty much a wash, as they are dumps for everything.
We are due to go to the same public houseing that the mud came out of the hoseline. It has been a few years since this job, so I will take pictures and see what happened. More than likely, during the previous incident, that paticular riser was not flowed since the building was built. We do not have testing jurisdiction once the buildiing receives the CO.

I'll try to get some snapshots of the Spanish dry risers for you to compare with; whose are in worse shape.
I can asure you that similar trash can be found inside them here, in the UK, Germany, South America and China. What's possibly even worse is when your "Standpipe Kit" should include at least one entire wye street connection, a minimum of two or three assemblies for connecting on floors, averal threaded caps, valves, etc., tools apart.
The standard Spanish dry standpipe system consists of a 2 3/4 inch (70 mm) wye street connection, 3 inch (75 mm) galvanized riser, a 2 3/4 to 1 3/4 inch /0 to 45 mm) gated wye on floors (according to building height can be alternating or every floor) and a shut off every 4 floors up to the top. As over there they receive little preventive maintenance and more often than not have been vandalized.
With this said, I have encountered masny Spanish FD's that lay their own "riser" of 2 3/4 inch hose as their experiences have shown that the buildings' installations cannot be trusted.
With this said, maybe the defence of the smooth bore is justifiable, and I admit the validity of the arguments in favor of the smooth bore.
However, if you have a reliable water source, and the fire conditions can be expected to be flashover eminent, I would go for the combination nozzle.
The 3D concept has as its principal virtue using as little as necessary quantities of water to put a fire out. This may be 100 gallons, 1,000 gallons or 100,000 gallons, depending on the entire spectrum of fire conditions; volume of the burning structure, what is burning and how much, etc. plus what water sources are available. On your side of the Atlantic, most cities, towns and villages, as well as many rural areas, have reasonably adequate water supplies. Here in Europe however, many municipalities, including many middle sized cities, do not have really adequate nor reliable fire main systems, therefore, many first due engines must rely on their on-board supply for initial attack until relays or supply hose lays can be completed. The 3D is not the solution for all structural fires, but it does work pretty well in a wide range of situations.
As for the simulator, it is exactly that; a purpose designed and equipped training facility used to give participants in the various possible fire situations the opportunities to experience confined fire extremes in reasonably controlled and safe conditions. There are two basic simulator concepts. the first, and original concept developed in Sweden is the wood fueled system in which a predetermined amount of wood, normally chip-board, is piled in one end of the 40 foot steel container, ignited and let burn until the varied pre-flashover conditions appear (accumulation of heat and fire gasses at the ceiling along with intermitant tounges of flames in the smoke mass), at which time the containment exercise starts; dilution and cooling of these gasses in order to eliminate the possibilities of the flashover. The second and more recent concept is the natural gas or LPG fed container, unsually fitted with sophisticated heat sensors and various fuel shut-off devices. This concept is used in localities, including entire nations, where environmental questions make these "clean" systems necessary. The principal disadvantage of these gas fired simulators is that the heat and above all gas accumulations are not really similar to real common fueled structural fires. However, the metal ISO shipping containers are among the very, very few structures that DO retain the heat and gas accumulations. Wood and concrete / cement / brick buildings "breathe" and cannot retain these conditions and thusly are not adequate for flashover training.
Now, if participants come out of the simulator with a "cool, man" attitude, the instructor was not doing things right. It is quite possible that they had been in a gas-fueled simulator. If the instructor had taught the class properly, they would have come away with a deep appreciation and respect for what can happen in a real confined fire situation. The flashover course was conceived as a training tool, to be used as one of the so many basic tools we have learned and later taught over the years. Students must consider that what the experience in the "oven" is just a fraction of the infinite variety of conditions that can and will occur. What the course will do is prepare the student to recognize fire conditions and react to them, and, before entering the confined space, be phyhsically and emotionally prepared. That includes all PPE in first class conditions, reading the structure and having charged adequate lines ready before opening the door among others..
Several years ago I was "fortunate" to have an abandoned fish product cannary available for a two week course for a mid-sized Spanish fire department. Several stories high, with a wide variety of very confined spaces (sealed cooling areas) and very large volumes in which we effected all kinds of interventions. This WAS a real world scenario, but these facilities are few and far between.
Be careful over there.
Russ,I agree with you 100%. I do not want to offend anyone here by attempting to give my opinion. You guys are far more educated in this field than I am, but in my own limited experience a SmoothBore is not just an NFPA standard for standpipes, but it also makes common sense. GPM vs. BTU, clogging of fog nozzles, little to no maintenance of the standpipes, reach of the stream, steam burns, etc...why don't FD's get it? I know of many FD's whose high rise packs are 1.75" with fog nozzles. I am not judging these FD's, but the facts are out there. Please allow me this opportunity to thank all of you guys for the insight and knowledge that you provide. guys like yourself, McCormack, etc...are saving lives everyday with your training. Thank you sincerely
Hey fellas, I have bit of a technical question about smoothbores. I have won the battle at my volley house, and we are purchasing a handful of smoothbores. I was basically getting the Akron FDNY spec nozzles until one dealer said to step up my 1 ½” nozzle. FDNY spec (and correct me if I’m wrong Capt. McCormack) are 1 ½” inlet w/ a 1” orifice and 1 ½” outlet w/ 15/16” tip. That is the nozzle I wanted, but one dealer told me to step up the orifice size to 1 3/8”. I was thinking the bigger orifice may cause more turbulence and lack of a better water stream. Anyone with insight or proven methods please let me know.
This is probably one of the most discussions there is in the fire service. If you have never been in a highrise fire with a FOG nozzle, you are in for the suprise of your life. There is nothing like opening the nozzle to check the stream and all of a sudden there is no water! Period! The hose is hard as a rock but no water. Why? All the crap in the piping has stopped at the tip. There is no good way to bleed the trash when it is bigger than the discharge. We had water for about 2 minutes and then nothing. What was it? A cigrette package, numerous cigarette butts and piecies of rust as big as a half dollar.
We had flushed the valve before connecting the hoseline.

The simplest way to duplicate this for the non believers is lay out 150 ft of what ever size hose you use for highrise attack.Charge the line and then bleed it to the point it can be disconnected from pump the outlet. Place a cup of plastic shipping peanuts in the first section at the pump discharge and recharge the line. You will be able to flow water for 30 to 55 seconds before the fog stops up with the peanuts.( The peanuts will not damage the nozzle and can easliy be cleaned out)

Now repeat the operation with a smoothbore, man what a differance! Seeing is believing. As far as fog nozzles for highrise operations, been there, done that, got the blistered helmet to show for it.
Take care.
Do the same thing with a candy, and it will not put the nozzle OOS, like a 5 lbs bag of M+Ms or something like that. I did that in a class I taught, and it was an eye opener. Another guy tried doing the same thing, he used sand. One nozzle OOS! LOL!
I think the Akron 1400 series nozzles are 1 3/8".

Nick Weiland said:
Hey fellas, I have bit of a technical question about smoothbores. I have won the battle at my volley house, and we are purchasing a handful of smoothbores. I was basically getting the Akron FDNY spec nozzles until one dealer said to step up my 1 ½” nozzle. FDNY spec (and correct me if I’m wrong Capt. McCormack) are 1 ½” inlet w/ a 1” orifice and 1 ½” outlet w/ 15/16” tip. That is the nozzle I wanted, but one dealer told me to step up the orifice size to 1 3/8”. I was thinking the bigger orifice may cause more turbulence and lack of a better water stream. Anyone with insight or proven methods please let me know.
Yes sir, it is. Do you think 1 3/8 is better than 1" orfice for a 1 3/4 line, w/ 15/16 tip? Or do you think it will make any difference?


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2024   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service