The right nozzle for fire hose is key to getting water where it’s needed in a hurry. Nozzles help firefighters to put out fires by spraying water at a certain rate, or GPM, and delivering it with a specific spray pattern. The spray pattern is determined by the size of an orifice inside the nozzle. Nozzles that produce a tight spray or stream are generally more powerful than those that produce a wider spray. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides guidelines that establish how narrow or wide a nozzle must be and how many different spray settings it must have, including fog patterns.
Some nozzles are made entirely of metal, while others have plastic or a combination of plastic and metal parts. Plastic can crack or break under pressure, while metal better resists corrosion. Some nozzles are dipped in a rubberlike coating, and some have a baked-on enamel finish to add strength and durability.
Some hose nozzles feature an ergonomically designed handle, with padding or indentations that help to prevent hand fatigue. If you work with the nozzle for long periods of time, it’s important to find one that is comfortable. Some handles are also powered by a button or lever, which allows the user to power the nozzle without having to hold down the trigger. These types of nozzles are generally easier to operate than pistol nozzles. Most hose nozzles come with an adapter that fits standard garden hose threads, but some can be used on quick-connect fittings found on other hoses.