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Measuring Water Flow Rate for a Fire Hose Using a Wireless Sensor Network for Smart Fire Fighting



Christopher U. Brown, Gregory W. Vogl, Andy Tam


A wireless sensor network was created to measure water-flow rate in a fire hose. An integrated electronic piezoelectric accelerometer was chosen as the sensor to measure the flow rate based on the vibrations generated by water flowing through a fire hose close to the hose nozzle. These sensors are small, lightweight, and they can attach to the outside of the hose, not obstructing the water's flow path. A relationship between the dominant-frequency metric and the flow rate was applied and used to determine real-time water flow in a fire hose critical for improving fireground situational awareness. A nearly monotonic relationship of flow rate to the dominant frequency was established and then used in a custom graphical user interface for quick, real-time, visual referencing by fire personnel of flow rate in a fire hose. While more work is needed, such as improved physical robustness of the sensor-node assembly and increased robustness of the signal metric, this preliminary study shows the potential of a ''smart'' fire hose for improved situational awareness during a fire attack.
Fire Technology


Accelerometers, Fire hose, Flow rate, Hose vibration, Smart fire fighting, Wireless sensor network


Brown, C. , Vogl, G. and Tam, A. (2021), Measuring Water Flow Rate for a Fire Hose Using a Wireless Sensor Network for Smart Fire Fighting, Fire Technology, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created January 2, 2021, Updated March 14, 2022