The fire hose nozzle is an important piece of equipment in any fire department’s arsenal. It helps put out fires by getting water to the right spot in the right form at the right time. Nozzles can be made out of metal, a combination of metal and plastic or all plastic. Metal nozzles are the strongest and most durable, but can also be more difficult to handle due to their weight and size. Plastic nozzles are lighter and easier to use, but are more likely to be damaged by impact or abrasion.
Another nozzle feature to consider is its spray pattern capabilities. The nozzle’s shape and size determine the spray pattern it supports. Common nozzle patterns include fog spray, which provides good radiant heat protection and straight stream, for accessing walls and roofs. Some nozzles are approved to disperse other media, such as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which is useful for certain types of fires.
Nozzles can be manually operated or automatic, with varying degrees of flow and pressure regulation. Constant/selectable gallonage nozzles offer a level of manual control over flow and pressure that may be more useful on the fireground than some other nozzle types.
It is always a good idea to test-drive a fire nozzle before you buy it. Pick it up, hold it and see how it feels in your hand. Check the nozzle for proper coupling connection, make sure the threads are not loose or rusted and that it has a gasket that is not dry or cracked. fire hose nozzles