A hose reel is a key piece of fire protection equipment, but your firefighting surge can be devastating if your hose reel is not good.
Hose reels are mostly outdoors; they spend more time exposed to sunlight and rain, and the hose deteriorates after consistent exposure to harsh weather conditions.
Cracks and holes will show up on the plastic and rubber sections of the hose, and it can lead to a full-blown disaster if the hose splits completely.
Meanwhile, some companies design the nozzles of their hoses using brass. Still, the nozzle can corrode and become useless if the fire hose reel maintenance culture is poor.
Here, we will highlight the key maintenance tips and for your fire hose reel.
- Ventilate the hose during storage and when in use:
Effective ventilation is the key to preserving and elongating the life of a fire hose. Store your fire hose in a place devoid of moisture and damping.
In case you are loading your fire hose on a vehicle or a fire appliance, ensure that there is enough air circulation. More so, while undertaking your fire hose reel installation, strive hard to reduce that contact between the hose and the vehicle. Intense vibration of the vehicle can cause the hose to crack.
- Carry out regular Pressure tests
Ensure that you carry out a pressure test on the hose and other firefighting applications on the exterior parts. This will reveal any tiny cuts, abrasions, scorches, or gouges.
The pressure tests should be carried out after every usage. Inspect the hose visually and carry out hydrostatic tests at 50% pressure of the usual working pressure. Ensure that all cuts and areas of leakages are repaired and rechecked.
If you haven't used your hose for a while, it is advisable to carry out the pressure tests once every year.
- Wash after every contact with chemicals or oil
Oil and chemical speed up the Hose-cracking process; hence, you should always wash any part of the hose exposed to oil or chemicals.
Make use of a stiff brush, detergents, and clean water to wipe away the oil or chemical.
- Avoid physical Pressures
Undue friction between the hose and the floor should be avoided. Don't drag your hose against sharp objects and rough surfaces to avoid cracks and cuts. In some cases, dragging your hose on the floor can be unavoidable; ensure that you protect your hose by tying a bandage at the points where the hose makes contact with the floor.
Extensive exposure to excessive heat and flaming debris can also cause abrasion.
- Don't bend but Roll into coils
Your hose can easily flake and break if you bend it at an acute angle, especially when it is under intense pressure.
Your hose will be durable if you roll it into coils. After every use, and when unpacking from your fire hose reels distributor, ensure that you wipe it using a damp clothing material.
- How do I maintain a fire hose?
Maintenance of your hose reel requires regular pressure checks, coiling of the hose, and ensuring that there is minimal friction between the hose and the ground when dragging your hose.
- How often should fire hose reels be checked?
It is advisable to check your fire hose after every usage. If your hose is redundant, you should ensure that you check for cracks and cuts after every 12 months.
- How to inspect a fire hose reel?
Inspecting a fire hose is merely a visual assessment and pressure check. You can visually crosscheck the surface of your hose for cuts and cracks.
Tiny cuts and cracks should not be ignored. As per the pressure checks, the hydrostatic test is the best, and the pressure applied should be in line with the working standard.
- What is the standard for a fire hose reel?
The standard for hydrostatic tests should be at 50% pressure of the usual working pressure of 10 bars.
The bottom line is, with a good fire hose reel maintenance checklist, and your hose can last longer than the expected duration given by the hose reel manufacturer.