Engine Company

Commercial Building Fires: The Attack Line

Issue 4 and Volume 161.

BY NATE DeMARSE Size-up of older commercial buildings continues throughout the entire operation. One of your key tactical decisions will involve estimating, stretching, and charging the correct size of attack line on arrival. Most fire officers, firefighters, and instructors recommend using the 2½-inch attack line on all commercial building fires. When coupled with the 1 1/8-inch or 1¼-inch solid stream tip, the 2½-inch attack line is second to none regarding water flow, reach, and knockdown power. It is not my intention to turn this column into a nozzle debate. The facts are that commercial buildings have a heavier fire load and large undivided showroom areas. These two factors alone are enough reason to warrant a 2½-inch line. Even a contents fire fueled by the high hydrocarbon content used in common materials today can quickly overwhelm a smaller line flowing less water. Photo 1. This engine company is stretching a 2½-inch…

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