COMBINATION STRAIGHT STREAM AND SPRAY NOZZLES
Discussion at the Duiuth Convention of Fire Engineers.
A discussion on this subject took place at the last convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers, which may prove interesting to those who were not present at the meeting. The question debated was: “Is a combination nozzle, where pipemen can throw spray at will, in addition to a solid stream, sufficient protection from heat and smoke to the men handling the pipe to compensate for the loss a solid stream sustains?” Chief Tyson, of Louisville, said: “Any member of this association, and I suppose we all have gone through the ranks, appreciates the fact that he is a great deal safer with a spray-nozzle than he is without it. Speaking for myself, if 1 were a pipentan and my municipality would not furnish me with a spray-nozzle, I should buy one and use it for my own protection. Every one here knows what a spray means when you are in a hole, and I consider it one of the greatest protections a fireman can have on his pipe, judging from my experience at least.” Former Chief Bernard Bosch said: “In my experience in fighting fires I have found a spray-nozzle, or a combination nozzle which can be changed from a solid to a spray-stream at will, is the best nozzle for general fire purposes. It is the only nozzle today that will put out an oil fire. In the oil region, where I was commander of a fire department for a great many years, and where we never had less than 4.000,000 barrels of oil stored within our city limits at all times, together with hundreds of tanks holding 30.000 barrels each, we got that matter of extinguishing a fire down so fine that, if a tank were struck by lightning at seven o’clock in the morning, we would have that fire out in that tank, and be back in our house at eight o’clock, just one hour later. Water in a spray will put out more oil than any chemical engine. The reason for this is that, if you use a chemical engine, you use a solid stream, as they have not yet been made to throw a spray. And that small stream would not do to attack a fire in a tank eighty feet in diameter and twenty-four feet high. But, in the case of a spray-nozzle, you can change the solid body of water into a shower of small drops, and, by covering the entire surface of the oil that is burning in the tank, the water, by the heat of the fire, is converted into steam, and in a very few moments the steam gathers on the top of the tank, and in a bath like that the fire is extinguished, the jteatn having smothered the fire and kept the air from it. I have no doubt whatever but that you could fire a planing mill with shavings five feet deep and —walk from one end to the other of it, provided you used sprav-nozzles. A special nozzle I used proved very effective. By turning the collar on the base of that nozzle, five knives came down into a solid one and one-quarter-inch or one and one-half-inch stream, and, by turning it another half of the way round, five more were brought into operation. This nozzle had a diameter of from three to four inches, and while this stream was divided by the ten knives into small spheres, four-inch discharge would cover an area of probably sixty feet in width. At all events, six streams put upon a tank eighty feet in diameter will cover every part of that tank. By putting ladders against the tank and going up, the heat of the fire, even though it is of a high temperature, will not prevent effective streams being brought to play on the flames. The spray cools the men going up, and drives the smoke away, and. when the water is thrown upon the fire in this manner, it converts the spray into steam and proves an irresistible extinguisher. At the Detroit convention, my remarks on this subject that, in the absence of the spray-nozzle, when attacking an oil fire. I recommended that a solid stream be not used. In a tank a solid stream only makes the oil burn worse. As it is thrown into the tank, it stirs the oil up. thereby releasing the carbon of the oil, and together with the oxygen which comes in with the water, a hotter fire is created. In Detroit I said that, if you have only solid streams, do not throw them upon the oil, but try to direct them against the side of the tanks, so that they will break tin and produce a spray effect. One chief present. Captain Joyner, of Atlanta. adopted this method and he reports that he had a fire in five-story oilhotise. where there was a large tank of oil, which took fire, and he managed to throw two slreams against two joists which were hanging down, lie just took two streams and threw them against the two joists over the tank, which scattered the water and extinguished the fire in fifteen minutes. During the fourteen years in which 1 fought oil fires 1 have had only one serious fire, with a loss of $15,030. I think this subject of using spray-nozzles in certain fires a very important one, and trust chief engineers will give it the consideration to which it is entitled.” Chief Fuller, Richmond, Va., said : “It seems to me that my friend Bosch has knocked into a cocked hat the effective waterpowers of the different large nozzles, if he can put out an oil fire with spray, instead of a large stream. My department is not in an oil country; but the Standard Oil company has a large plant in the adjoining city of Manchester. Some time last year, during the summer, that plant caught fire. Manchester has a standpipe. They used two-inch hose and about five-eighth or threequarter-inch nozzles. They had seven or eight of those size streams at work on the fire, and they found they were not making any effect on it. Our assistance was asked, when a second-class LaFr.ance engine was dispatched to the place. It took suction from open water, and an inch and a half nozzle was used. It did more good than all of the other streams combined, and 1 believe, if we had not given the assistance, that the whole plant would have burned up.” Former Chief Benedict, of Newark, N. J., said: “1 have seen a great many oil fires and I would say to friend Bosch that, if he can introduce, or has seen a spray-nozzle for the tackling of oil fires, that will p it them out. the Standard Oil company will make him a present so big that he will not need to work any more all the days of bis life. 1 do not suppose there are larger oil tanks in the country than those at Bayonne, of the Standard Oil company. Fires have broken out in these large tanks; but, with that experience, it has been found that sprays would not knock them out. They do to a certain extent; but good large solid bodies of water are invariably used to cool tanks.” After some further remarks by B. Bosch the subject was closed.