Fire hose reels are an easy-to-use form of fire equipment which can help you to respond faster to a fire emergency.
When can I use a fire hose reel?
Ideal for fighting a fire in its early stages, fire hose reels are most suitable for Class A Fires, commonly caused by normal combustibles like paper, textiles, wood, most plastics and rubber. Some common examples of class A Fires include the ignition of recycling bins, carpeting or furniture due to candles or embers.
When CAN’T I use a fire hose reel?
- Fire hose reels are intended for use against a fire only, and therefore should never be used for washing or cleaning purposes.
- You should NEVER use a fire hose reel on a Class E Electrical fire. As water conducts electricity, it will only amplify the danger of any fire involving electrical equipment like motors, switchboards and electrical appliances. You’re far better off using an ABE fire extinguisher on an electrical fire.
- Fire hose reels are also not intended for use on the below kinds of fires:
Class B Fires – Fires involving combustible liquids like petrol, oil paint and solvents
Class C Fires – Fires involving combustible gases like LPG, Natural gas and acetylene
Class D Fires – Fires involving combustible metals like aluminium shaving or magnesium
Class E Fires – Fires where the ignition source contains electrical equipment such as motors, switchboards and electrical appliances
Class F Fires – Fires involving cooking oils and fats.
- Learn more about the 6 fire extinguisher classes in Australia and the best kind of equipment to use against these
How do fire hose reels work?
Fire hose reels consist of a long reel made of non-kinking tubing which typically come in 36 or 50m lengths, providing enhanced accessibility to a fire. Plus, unlike water fire extinguishers, fire hose reels are connected to the mains water supply, meaning they can provide an almost unlimited supply of water. They come equipped with a hose, control nozzle, hose guide and a main turn on/off valve. The nozzle at the end of the hose enables the operator to control both the flow and direction of the water toward the fire.
What are the Australian Standards for fire hose reels?
- To pass any Australian Standards, your fire equipment will be subject to rigorous testing.
- All fire hose reels must undergo regular scheduled maintenance to comply with AS1851. This requires them to be inspected every 6 months, with the provision of an annual fire safety statement report. Much like other kinds of fire equipment, your hose reels must also carry a maintenance tag report indicating the details of its last inspection.
- AS1221 dictates that all 36mm x 19mm fire hoses must be able to deliver at least 0.45 litres of water per second, at 220kPa.
- You must use AS 1221-approved fire hose reel spare parts if undergoing any repairs or replacements.
- The installation and location of fire hose reels and signs must comply with AS2441, while any manufacture and assembly should also comply with AS/NZS1221.
Quick tips for using fire hose reels:
- Always ensure the water is turned on before attempting to put out a fire, as there is a stopcock at the base of the hose reel
- If possible, it is more effective for two people to unroll the hose reel, with one in control of the nozzle and one in control of the length of the hose
- Always direct the water to the base of the fire, not the top of the flames
- If the fire becomes out of hand, evacuate. Hose reels are intended to put out fires at the early stage, not when a blaze is out of control.
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