Three Different Types of Fire Hose, Outside of Question of Weave —Great Demand in Prospect for the Coming Year—Hose Makers Support Movement for Standardization of Couplings

LAST year there were, in the two hundred and nineteen cities in the United States, having 30,000 population or over, 6,605,183 feet of water hose in use and 532,093 feet of chemical engine hose, according to official figures issued by the government. On this basis it may be safely estimated that there are, all told, 15,000,000 feet of water and chemical hose at present in use in the fire departments of this country. Of the water hose reported above 129,299 feet were of 3 1/2-inch diameter, 314,299 feet of 3-inch, 179,895 feet of 2 3/4-inch, 5,805,075 feet of 2 1/4-inch, 115,235 of 1 1/2-inch diameter; 50,226 feet of 1-inch, 4,738 feet of 3/4-inch, and 6,416 feet of all other sizes combined. Only two sizes of chemical hose were used, 221.572 feet being of 1-inch diameter and 309,721 feet of C-inch, with 800 feet on which the diameter was not specified.

Outsidc of the question of weave, there are now on the market three different types of fire hose. The standard form, which predominates the field by a great margin, is that in which the lining and jacket are cemented or otherwise firmly attached to each other for the entire circumference. The second form of hose appearing was that in which the rubber lining is attached to the jacket by two strips running the entire length of the section horizontally. The hose is made to fold where the lining and jacket are free so that, according to the manufacturers’ claim, the lining is able to slip back from the point of greatest stress when the hose is flattened out. The third type, and which was produced quite recently, has a separate lining, attached only by the couplings at either end of the section. The pressure of the water in the lining causes it to expand and grip on the inside of the jacket, thereby preventing it from slipping in the direction of the flow of water. The two latter styles of hose are, compared with the standard type, relatively new, and users of both report satisfactory service. What the future holds in store for the hose business, outside of a very prosperous year, is hard to conjecture.

In connection with the question of fire hose, it seems proper to make mention of the efforts made in recent years to standardize fire hose couplings in cities throughout the country, to the end that neighboring cities may assist one another in the protection of life and property in case of unusual conflagration, and incidentally mention that steady and encouraging progress has been made toward this end. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. the National Fire Protection Association and other organizations have adopted a standard hose coupling. The following specifications are those of the standard coupling:

The above are to be of the 60-degree V-thread pattern. with 0.01 inch cut off the top of thread and 0.01 inch left in the bottom of the valley in 2 1/2-inch, 3 inch, and 3 1/2inch couplings, and 0.02 inch in like manner for the 4 1/2inch couplings and with 1/4-inch blank end on male part of coupling in each case. Female ends are to be cut 34inch shorter for endwise clearance, and they should also be bored out 0.03 inch larger in the 2 1/2-inch, 3-inch and 3 1/2-inch sizes, and 0.05 inch larger in the 4 1/2-inch size, in order to make up easily and without jambing or sticking.

The manufacturers of hose are heartily in support of the movement, for besides enabling cities to co-operate with each other it eliminates a lot of unnecessary work in making up special couplings for each different department where odd sized threads are used. Cities and towns have hesitated in making the move for standard hydrant and hose couplings on account of the expense attached to the changing over, but the movement is definitely under way over the entire country and it will not be long until there will be only one standard thread for each different size of coupling.

With the exception of the development of new nozzle for partition, ceiling and cornice fires, which is built like a miniature cellar pipe, there is no new departure in the line of nozzle equipment.

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