A fire hose reel is the first part of fire fighting equipment designed to respond quickly to fire hazards. Hose reels control Class A fires like paper, wood, textiles, rubber, and plastics.
According to Australian building codes, any area more than 500m2 must have a hose installed. It is mandatory to give the floor’s occupants a chance to initially control the fire until firefighting personnel arrive on the scene.
These fire hose reels are attached to a water supply and are used to control and douse paper or wood fuelled fires. Be careful while using a fire hose reel. Ensure that you are operating one in an area that has been evacuated. Furthermore, water should not be used on electrical, petrol/oil, or cooking fat fires.
Fire hose reels are a control measure used to buy time for emergency services to arrive on the scene.
Fire Hose Reel Compliance
As mentioned before, fire hose reels are mainly used to contain Class A fires. They are installed near the emergency exits of your office. Different types of fire hoses are available to meet particular needs and purposes.
A standard fire hose reel must have a maximum extended length of 36 metres and release 0.33 litres of water per second. Additionally, the water stream from the nozzle of the fire hose reel must be at least four meters long to meet the codes and requirements.
Australian Fire Hose Reel Standards for Compliance
In the event of a fire breaking, it is crucial to equip your office with functional fire hose reels. It would be a disaster to discover them not working properly when needed. To prevent such mishaps, the Australian government has set down fire hose reel regulations NSW to ensure that your fire protection measures can be relied upon.
There are three mandatory fire hose reel regulations in NSW associated with selecting and placing fire hose reels in a commercial property.
Manufacture and Assembly of Fire Hose Reels:
Australian standard regulation code AS/NZS1221 states down the guidelines for manufacturing and assembly of fire hose reels. According to this directive, a standard fire hose reel must be 36 meters long when extended completely. With a 19mm diameter, the fire hose must release a minimum of 0.45 litres of water per second at 220kPa. To comply with this code, the assembled fire hose reel and its separate parts must undergo thorough inspection and testing.
Therefore, you must only buy fire hose reel parts that are AS1221 certified to comply with the code.
Fire Hose Reel Installation and Location:
The AS2441 code specifies the details for installation and location of fire alarm signs, exits, and fire hose reels. This code details the “system coverage” concept. According to this code, the fire hose reel or reels must be located where the occupants can easily reach them in case of fire. The system coverage under this code will also determine if the building needs an internal fire hydrant system.
The code specifies the following instructions for all commercial buildings with regards to fire hose reel placement:
- Install all fire hose reels within 4 metres of any exit. If that is difficult, you can place additional fire hose reels along the path that leads to the exit.
- In multistorey buildings, separate fire hose reels must be placed for each store. If one person occupies a multistorey building, then a single fire hose reel at the exit or entrance of the building should suffice.
- Fire hose reels must be marked in white letters on a red sign. The operating sign should be placed within 2 meters of the reel and 2 meters or more above the floor for clear visibility.
- The fire hose reel must be located in a clear place with no obstruction in front of the hydrant and the hose.
- Fire hose reels must be mounted securely to carry the equipment’s weight and withstand the force applied to extend the reel.
Inspection and Maintenance of Fire Hose Reels:
The AS1851 standard deals with the maintenance of fire hose reels. According to this code, fire hose reels must undergo an inspection every six months. Your Annual fire safety statement must also contain a detailed review of its condition.
Like other firefighting tools, fire hose reels need a maintenance record to see the last inspection date. This equipment has been exclusively designed and manufactured for controlling fire hazards. It must not be used for any other purposes except that.
Fire hose reels are a crucial part of fire fighting and control equipment. It can not only help douse the fire but will buy you essential time to survive until the firefighters arrive.
So, keep in mind the above standards and only buy fire hose reels that are compliant with fire hose reel regulations NSW.