Friday, January 26, 2018

How to Choose Firefighting Hose

So you just specd out that new fire truck with all of the bells and whistles that you love. You have the lighting package, you have the chrome package, the scene lights. You used your response area needs to determine what type of truck and it's features. You likely spend at least $250,000 to $750,000 on the equipment that gets your guys and gals to the scene as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.

This is the normal time line. We see it all the time. This is also where time and time again a mentality shifts for many departments. Your truck gets the attention it deserves and needs but when you go to buy fire hose, you now are trying to find the cheapest price possible on "fire hose".

We often see this mentality when it comes time to buy fire hose. Hours of thought have went into the truck spec, but your fire hose is more of an after thought.

So how do you select the best firefighting hose?
It's a multi faceted approach. First you really have to start with your response area. What type of construction is in your district? If you have single row shot-gun style homes with lighter fire loads, you may be able to get by with a 125 gallon per minute (gpm) nozzle. But wait, we are talking hoses here... what's my nozzle have to do with the hose?

It's a marriage....
The right hose and nozzle combination is critical in determining your needed fire flows. Like I said above, the 125gpm may be fine for some. But what if you have 3500 sq ft homes? What if you have heavy industry? Large Commercial structures? 125 gpm will not be very effective in those situations. Obviously taking a 1 1/2 inch handline will not work. You'll need 2 1/2 inch or larger.

Hoses have flows!
Just like your nozzle, each fire hose has optimal flow rates. The Key to finding what you need for your application is matching the needed flows from your response area, with a hose that flows the right gallonage with a nozzle that's matched for that flow at a operating pressure that works for your department.

Under Pressure
Ahhh - pressure...... So many times you can ask a department what GPM they are flowing and the answer is wildly different from each member. Even command staff will give you different answers. When you go to flow test the line you often times find that the results are no where near what they all expected.

Let us help!
With Key Hose and Elkhart Brass We can find the right solution for your needed flow rates. Call one of our sales team today so we can visit your department.