A fire hose reel helps extinguish fire – not the small fire blazes that can be taken care of by traditional garden hoses or fire extinguishers, but the large fire breakouts that are hard to control without professional help. Well-designed fire hose reels use pressurised water to enable accessing flames without getting too close to the fire. The quantity of water dispersed not just helps control the flames but also prevents the fire from spreading.
Fire hose reels aren’t ideal for all fire-fighting situations. If you’re considering buying one, it’s crucial that you know everything about the tool. Little or partial knowledge could be dangerous.
Compared to other fire-fighting tools, a fire hose reel delivers good amount of water. This is why you see such hoses only in the hands of professionals such as firefighters who deal with extinguishing fire in industrial and commercial buildings.
That said, fire hose reels aren’t ideal for all large fires. For example, water must not be used for putting out fires in places where there are burning liquids or live electrical equipment. This is because electricity and water do not mix. Upon contact with water, the live electrical equipment may short. Similarly, burning liquids may spread when treated to water, making the fire even worse. Generally, hose reels are ideal for fires that involve textiles, paper, rubber, wood, and most plastics.
The legal aspects of fire hose reels revolve around their manufacturing and assembly, clearance around reels, etc.
Australian Standard (AS) 2441 doesn’t categorically talk about a fire hose reel’s surroundings. As per AS2441, accessing fire hose reel mustn’t be obstructed at all times. There could be things around the hose reel but they shouldn’t be too close and be a hurdle. Also, the placement must be strategic so that the reel location sign is visible from a fair distance.
At the moment, there are three relevant Australian Standards as far as fire hose reels are concerned.
• AS/NZS1221: For manufacturing and assembly – the assemblies must comply with AS1221 to conform to regulatory standards.
• AS2441: Used to ensure compliance with fire hose signs and reels’ location and installation.
• AS1851: Talks about fire hose reel maintenance, which entails inspecting hose reels once every six months.
The following are some requirements for fire hose installation in Australia:
• The water discharge must be .45 litres/ second when affixed to an inlet.
• The fire hose reel mount must be at a height of at least 1.5m above the floor and 2.4m in the case of spindle.
• The stop valve operating instructions must be covered and available not further than 2m from the hose assembly.
A fire hose reel comprises different parts – including a replacement nozzle, whole hose reel assembly, fire hose cabinet, and central spool. The hose reel enables collapsing or coiling the fire hose for convenient storage. The central spool engineering helps accept hose sans tangling. The hose reel assembly swings out frequently, thanks to an attached arm, so that the hose could be lugged around in different directions. The hose’s end is connected to water supply.
Fire hose reels are visibly located on fire-fighting trucks. These reels can also be seen in office buildings, stacked in a wall recess, or affixed to a wall. This placement makes it easier to activate the hose whenever required.
The fire hose nozzle has a specialised valve, known as ball valve, letting the user control the water amount and direction and, at times, the spray force.
If you’d like to know more about fire hose reels or require assistance with fire hose reel supply, installation, and maintenance, call FCF Fire and Electrical today.