International Debut on Firegeezer
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Firegeezer notes: In February we posted the announcement HERE that Franck Gaviot-Blanc, a fire research scientist in France who specializes in advanced research into fire behavior and extinguishment methodology, has invented a revolutionary new nozzle that is designed to suppress "flashover" conditions in a fire building and protect the firefighters inside from the deadly effects of the flashover. This is done by creating an engineered fog pattern designed to suppress and cool the fire gasses that are waiting for ignition and flashover.
This new nozzle is ready for the market now and it will be introduced tomorrow (Thursday) at the 3-day annual National Congress of Firefighters in Nantes, France (similar to the Fire Rescue International in the U. S.). Franck has chosen Firegeezer.com to publish the details of the nozzle today, one day early, as the official international announcement. Our European correspondent Laurence Delorme "Fireball" interviewed Franck Gaviot-Blanc about his new design and is posted here.
Update, October 14: Technical video added. Scroll down to end.
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Introducing the "Optimal Nozzle"
Fireball: 1. Why did you give it this name, Optimal Nozzle?
FGB: I wanted to give a short name to this nozzle but I also wanted to point out the term optimal related to this nozzle because of its ergonomics. With its shape of a pistol, this nozzle can be used easily with your 2 hands and the fact that there is no drain, this reduces the number of handlings. You will make fewer mistakes when you operate with this nozzle, especially when you will have to operate in the dark or in a building with a lot of smoke. The way the water is delivered, each setting has been built/designed to reach one goal, to get an optimal water delivery (flow rate) where you can fight fire or cool gasses. The training to use this nozzle is very short, just 1 minute for each probie or firefighter.
2. For what kind of fires will you use this nozzle?
FGB: this nozzle will be mainly used to attack what we call "under-ventilated" fires. (flashover conditions.) Let me give you some examples or scenario of a structure fire:
First scenario: I arrive at the structure fire and there are flames coming out of the windows of the structure.
Second scenario: I arrive and there is smoke and very few flames. I go inside the burning building and i do the vent-enter-search where there is a lot of smoke around me. Finally I find the seat of the fire which is not very intense or strong and i stop this fire.
Third scenario: I arrive at the firescene, there is smoke and nearly no visible flames. I go inside the building and i do V-E-S with a lot of smoke, and while i'm inside the building blazes up. The seat of the fire will become very large.
In the first scenario, most of the time the fire is large,strong, and the thermal radiance of the flames hamper the firefighters. They will have to use many nozzles from outside with a flow rate of 500liters/per minute for each nozzle. The Optimal nozzle has been designed for the scenarii 2 and 3. This means that when firefighters have to go inside a burning building and operate a nozzle, they will have to cool gasses around them.
3. How long did it take to you to design this nozzle?
FGB: I have asked my boss IFPEN to begin work on this project in June 2006. From June 2006 to February 2007 I have tried to find an industrial partner which could help me to create this nozzle and to sell it. A partnership was signed in June 2007 and a patent was registered. I'm the inventer, but the patent belongs to my boss, IFPEN. Many tests have been done,and the nozzle will be on the market at the end of this month, September 2011. It took me 6 years to realize my project from my first idea of this nozzle to today, where we have the final product, a fog nozzle for under-ventilated fires.
4. Will the nozzle will be sold on the European market only?
FGB: The nozzle will be sold by 2 different companies. One, Gallin, will be in charge of the distribution in France, and the other company, Pok will sell it in the other countries including North America.
5. Why did you create this nozzle?
FGB: In France, calls for fire are not numerous in the fire service. They represent 10% of the activity of a French firefighter. Less than 1% of the structure fires need to have firefighters inside the burning building. It is extremely rare that you have firefighters who need to operate inside the burning building. But when that happens, these fires are very dangerous and it is always hard to deal with them. You have firefighters inside the building and the fire spreads very quickly.
Most of the nozzles that we use nowadays have not been designed for interior operations. To fight fire inside the building, those nozzles have been designed by people who just tried to adjust their nozzles to work inside burning buildings, so a lot of mistakes happen. Too many possibilities concerning the adjustment for the firefighter on his nozzle when he wants to fight a fire inside.
There is a lack of training concerning nozzles and a lack of time too. The nozzles have a lot of possibilities/options, and the firefighters do not have enough time to learn to use them correctly. I really think that technology could make life easier for the firefighters and not more difficult.
6. Give us some details about this nozzle.
FGB: This fog nozzle has only 2 flow rates, one for each setting. The flow rate of the peripheric setting (made of 4 holes) and which allows you to fight fires or to make long pulse is 250 liters per minute up to 6 bars (pressure) for an angle of 25 degrees.
Fire suppression setting
The flow rate of the central setting which allows you to make short pulses for gas cooling, or produce a fog pattern is 95 liters per minute at an angle of 55 degrees.
Gasses cooling setting
The nozzleman can easily switch from one mode to the other by turning the adjuster at the end of the nozzle. (Like the way American nozzles adjust their patterns….ed.)
The optimal nozzle can flush itself. In the European standards, when you have nozzles with a flow rate which can reach 250 liters per minute, they have to flush themselves.
7. What are the advantages of this nozzle?
FGB: a) easy to use. b) time of training is very short when you want to learn to use it. c) self-flushes itself. d) optimal efficiency.
Thank you, Franck.
National Congress of Firefighters (CSPNA) WEBSITE.
Update, October 14:
The technical video that was presented at the congress is now presented here:
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