Fire Hose Reel
Fire hose reels are located to provide a reasonably accessible and controlled supply of water to combat a potential fire risk. The length of a fully extended fire hose is 30 meters. With the hose is fully extended, a first responder can easily fight larger fires at a safer distance. With unlimited water supply, there is a larger margin of error allowed. The downside is that fire hose reels are installed to a fixed location and the 30m of hose can be quite heavy to drag and set up for fire fighting efforts.
In addition, a control nozzle attached to the end of the hose enables the operator to control the direction and flow of water to the fire. All fire hose reels come with a unique ball valve shut-off device, a plastic or solid brass hose reel nozzle and mounting bracket.
It is not uncommon to see hosereels mounted in recessed walls. However, there should be visible hosereel signs indicating that there is a hosereel. The most common violation of Singapore Fire Code is the storage of unauthorised objects. Unfortunately, cleaning tools are often stored in the same compartment of the fire hose reel. As a result, in times of emergency, the fire hose reel operator is unable to have easy access to the fire hose reel. This could lead to a delay in fire fighting or rescue efforts.
What fires can a fire hose reel be used for?
Do note, a fire hose reel discharges only water. The use of water is to cool down the temperature of the fire to below ignition point. As such, it can only put out class A fires
Where should fire hose reels be installed?
According to Singapore SCDF Fire Code chapter 6.2.8 (d) ,
(3) Hose reels shall be sited in prominent and accessible locations within a distance of 5m from the exit door but not inside exit staircases. If there are parts of the floor space that are beyond the 36m coverage (30m hose path and 6m throw) of the hose reel, additional hose reels shall be provided at the common area or at a distance of not more than 5m from the exit access door of a room.
How to use a fire hose reel
- Turn on the water supply valve.
- Check if there is water
- Run out hose
- Discharge water from the nozzle from a safe distance
Compared to portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels are significantly easier to operate. While it is easy to grab and go with a fire extinguisher, the total discharge duration is short. Subsequently, if the fire extinguisher does not put out the fire, it will quickly reignite to its original size. Ideally, if there are two first responders, one should begin setting up the fire hose reel while the other should head to the fire with a fire extinguisher. In this manner, if the fire extinguisher fails, the fire hose reel can quickly take over fire fighting efforts.
Maintenance of Fire Hose Reels
Following Singapore Standards, fire hose reels have to be maintained annually by a trained technician. During maintenance, the technicians will check for leakages, kinked hoses or damage drums which may impede fire fighting efforts.