The study of water to suppress fires by Lloyd Layman (1953), proved that water delivered through a firefighting nozzle that creates smaller water droplets increases the surface area exposed per volume therefore, tremendously increasing the efficiency with waters ability to cool gases and fuel surfaces. The study of water physics is no different today than it was in the 1950’s.
Layman’s work was further studied by Swedish engineers in the 1980’s and concluded that the optimum size of a water droplet cannot exceed .3 mm in diameter to achieve optimum efficiency. Smaller water droplet technology is widely used and successful by European fire departments today.
The studies are proven and the results favor all fire departments to make the change to use less water to obtain the highest beneficial results. The challenge for firefighters is to reduce further damage to a structure. With today’s high volume water application, it is almost impossible to achieve this. Water is the second leading cause of structure damage and often times the first leading cause. Moving forward with smaller water droplet technology provides a better service for our customers.
Layman, Lloyd, Fire fighting tactics, Boston: NFPA, 1953 Layman, Lloyd, Attacking and extinguishing interior fires, Boston: NFPA 1955 lbid, p. 25. Handell, Anders, Utvardering av dimsstralrors effektivitet vid brandgaskylning, Lund, Sweden: Lund University, 2000 Giselsson, Krister and Mats Rosander, The fundamentals of fire, Norrkoping, Sweden, year unknown