In the movie Die Hard, near the end, John McClane ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps off the roof of the Nakotomi plaza building.

Would a fire hose really be able to support the weight of a man of that build at falling speeds?

  • We need to use suspension of disbelief else its not happening
    – Panther
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 9:45

2 Answers 2


I suspect the fire hose would survive, but our poor action hero would not.

From this article:

So in the Die Hard fall its unlikely to stretch very much. Lets say in Bruce's jump a 10m fire hose stretches 1% i.e. 0.1m. Our force formula now becomes F = 7900 / 0.1 = 79000 N ... equivalent to the weight of about 100 Bruce Willis!

So what would happen to our action hero? Talking through all this one day with the actor and presenter Robert Llewellyn he quite rightly reflected "I think there would be a Bruce and somewhere else a Willis!"

  • Honest Action - Die Hard only gives him a dislocated shoulder for that one. He hits the window pretty damn hard, so a lot of energy gets dispersed there. I think there'd be an unconscious dude hanging from a fire hose with all of their ribs broken. You'd be better off the faster you ran off the top, so that it swings you into the building harder than it 'catches' you.
    – Mazura
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 22:33

Fire hoses are designed to take huge water pressure - up to 290 psi - with bursting pressure up to 3 times that. I don't know what stress the weight of a man at the speed of falling would would be - but I suspect the hose would be adequate to the task.


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