Extinguishing lance

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The exit openings at the tip of the extinguishing lance are clearly visible in the close-up

A fire lance is a special nozzle used by the fire brigade . It enables fires to be reached in hard-to-reach places. This belongs to the group of water-bearing fittings for water delivery.


Extinguishing lance

From a technical point of view, extinguishing lances have a very simple structure. They essentially only consist of a 1.5–3 m long, stable metal pipe with a shut-off device .

In the tip of the pipe there are 12 to 16 holes with a diameter between 4 and 7 mm arranged in a spiral, which create a fine water mist.

Erasing nail

The extinguishing nail (also known as fog nail , fognail ) is a kind of extinguishing lance with a specially hardened striking surface . It offers the possibility of driving the lance through walls or doors with a hammer. This means that internal fires can be fought from outside. The aim here is to reduce the risk to the fire fighters and to ensure quick and effective use by not creating large openings to extinguish the fire, for example by opening a door, because this would add more oxygen to the fire, instead only created an opening that corresponds to the diameter of the erasing nail. The fire nail was developed in Sweden in the 1980s .

application areas

Extinguishing lances make it possible to reach fires in hard-to-reach places. This includes fires in cavities with narrow gaps (e.g. false ceilings , supply shafts).

They can also be used for smoldering piles of hay and straw, chip bunkers, coal and garbage dumps. Nowadays, however, they are rarely used there, as new extinguishing techniques (water with wetting agents , carbon dioxide, etc.) and fewer possible uses (e.g. due to over-compressed straw bales, combined and centralized waste and rubble heaps) have significantly reduced the demand .

When using fire nails, the risk of a smoke gas explosion can be greatly reduced. For example, a first fire-fighting attack can be started with a fire lance that is struck through the door of a burning apartment without opening windows or doors. In this way, the flames do not receive any fresh air and the fire can be fought very effectively thanks to the fine distribution of the water. Since the door in question does not have to be opened by using a fire nail, there is no smoke in the adjacent rooms. This prevents smoke damage and increases the safety of those who are still in the building. However, the extinguishing lances can only be hammered into wooden doors up to a certain thickness.

Other possible uses are e.g. B. the erection of water walls, which prevent the spread of the fire to not yet affected parts of the building in large fires ( locking position ).

Recently, some airport fire departments and industrial fire departments have been using extinguishing lance-like devices. The extinguishing lance or piercing unit is attached to a telescopic articulated arm on the HRET (High Reach Extentable Turret). The lance can be driven through aircraft outer skins or building walls (aluminum sheet 4 mm, steel sheet 2.5 mm, GRP 12 mm) in order to flood the interior with water.

In the shipping industry, fire lances are successfully used on containers for fires on board .


There is also the registered idea of ​​a universal extinguishing device for large tunnels, halls, forest and motorway fires. The advantage of the device is that the extinguishing water can be sprayed directly onto the source of the fire at great pressure even over long distances (e.g. over 200 meters) without a fire service member having to be in the danger zone. The pipes are extended by means of couplings. A long extinguishing pipe (e.g. on a cast iron chassis) can be pushed in front of you to the source of the fire by an armored, cooled special vehicle. There, the fire can be extinguished with great pressure via a remote-controlled extinguishing nozzle. In the event of a possible explosion, the fire brigade is far enough away so that dangerous injuries can be ruled out. The special vehicle is provided with a water tank or drags the water hose behind it, which may be determined by the unit leader.


  • Lutz Rieck: Die Rote Hefte, Booklet 6 - fire extinguishing fittings . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 978-3-17-015171-0 , pp. 88-89 .
  • Diverse: Hamilton - Handbook for the fire brigade . Boorberg Verlag, 21st edition 2012. ISBN 978-3-415-04560-6

Individual evidence

  1. Preliminary accident report ( memento of December 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) of the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) on the fire accident on the Ludwigshafen Express in which extinguishing lances were used