Fire glossary
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59 entries in the Fire glossary beginning with "S"
Smoldering
A fire burning without flame and barely spreading.
Soda-acid extinguisher
Weak water/acid solution inside a pressure vessel which activates bicarbonate of soda when triggered, expelling water" (mixture) under pressure from the resulting carbon dioxide. Obsolete and often replaced with an APW or multipurpose extinguisher.
Soft suction hose, soft sleeve
A short piece of fire hose, usually 10 to 20 feet long, of large diameter, greater than 2.5 inches (65 mm) and as large as 6 inches, used to move water from a fire hydrant to the fire engine, when the fire apparatus is parked close to the hydrant.
Solid Stream
A fire stream emitted from a smooth-bore nozzle. This fire stream has the greatest reach and largest drops of water.
Solid stream
Fire stream from round orifice of nozzle. Compare straight stream.
Spanner
Rigid tool for tightening or loosening firehose couplings.
Special egress control device
Locking device on doors used for delaying opening for short period (10-15 seconds) after release is pressed. Permitted as panic hardware in limited circumstances. May also refer to a security system that releases electronic door locks when a fire alarm is activated, such as in stairwells of a highrise building.
Spike camp
Remote camp usually near a fireline, and lacking the logistical support that a larger fire camp would have.
Spotting
Behavior of a fire producing sparks or embers that are carried by the wind and which start new fires (spot fires) beyond the zone of direct ignition by the main fire. A cascade of spot fires can cause a blowup.
Spray nozzle
See fog nozzle.
Sprinkler system
Fire suppression system in a building, typically activated by individual heat-sensitive valves, or remotely controlled by other types of sensors, releasing water onto the fire. May be wet" (water-filled) or "dry" (air-pressurized).
Staging
Sector of incident command where responding resources arrive for assignment to another sector. Often an essential element in personnel accountability program.
Standard operating procedure, guideline (SOP or SOG)
Rules for the operation of a fire department, such as how to respond to various types of emergencies, training requirements, use of protective equipment, radio procedures; often include local interpretations of regulations and standards. In general, procedures" are specific, whereas "guidelines" are less detailed.
Standpipe
System of pipes inside a building for conducting water for firehose attachments; may be pressurized with water (wet") or remain "dry" until activated in an emergency; supplied either from a fire hydrant attachment or from a fire engine's pump. Permits firefighters to reach higher levels of tall buildings without having to run hoses up the stairs.
Static pressure
The pressure in a water system when the water is not flowing.
Steamer connection
A Siamese inlet to a standpipe or sprinkler system. Named for early application of steam engines for pumps.
Steamer outlet
Large outlet of fire hydrant.
Storz coupling
A type of coupling used on fire hose. The coupling is sexless, and secures with a 1/4 turn of the coupling. The coupling may or may not have some sort of locking device.
Straight Stream
A fire stream generated by a combination nozzle, characterized by a long reach and large water drops. It is essentially the narrowest of fog patterns that can be produced.
Straight stream
Round, hollow stream formed as water passes a round baffle through a round orifice (e.g., on an adjustable nozzle.) Compare solid stream.
Strainer
1) A large metal device attached to the end of a suction hose that prevents debris from entering the hose or the pump. 2) A stationary accumulation of debris in a moving body of water.
Stretch
Command to lay out (and connect) firehose and nozzle.
Strike team
Specified combinations of the same kind and type of resources, with communications, and a leader.
Structure fire (or structural fire")
A fire in a residential or commercial building. Urban fire departments are primarily geared toward structural firefighting. The term is often used to distinguish them from wildland fire or other outside fire, and may also refer to the type of training and equipment (e.g., structure PPE").
Suction hose
A large, semi-flexible and non collapsible hose used to move water from a static source such as a pond, pool or storage tank to a fire pump by means of suction. The whole process is often known as drafting". Should not be used to connect pressurized hydrants to pumps.
Supply line, supply hose, large-diameter hose
Fire hose, usually larger than 2.5 inches in diameter, used to transport water from one source to another, such as from a hydrant to a fire engine or from one engine to another. Short pieces of this hose used to attach to a hydrant are often called Soft Suction" (see above).
Suppression
All the work of extinguishing or confining a fire beginning with its discovery.
Suppression crew
Two or more firefighters stationed at a strategic location for initial action on fires. Duties are essentially the same as those of individual firefighters.
Surface fire
Fire that burns loose debris on the surface, which include dead branches, leaves, and low vegetation.
59 entries in the Fire glossary beginning with "S"

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