A fully extended semi rigid fire hose is up to 30 meters long, red in colour and round in section and is intended to provide a controlled supply of water to combat a potential fire risk quickly without having to set up lengths of lay flat hose from another source. This is achieved via a control nozzle attached to the end of the hose which enables a single operator to control the direction and flow of water to the fire. Its semi rigid construction is flexible and durable, which helps to prevent kinks that would restrict the water supply.
Hose reels help to ensure that escape routes can be maintained and are often located in larger areas or corridors where a fire extinguisher does not provide sufficient cover. If appropriate to the risk the hose reel may also be used to fight the fire in its early stages. Hose reels may also be found in other higher risk locations, such as in a petrochemical environment when used in conjunction with a suitable approved foam attachment.
In some countries layflat hose (which has a larger bore than semi rigid hose) may also be used in a similar manner to a conventional hose reel. The layflat hose, typically 30 metres in length, is located in a cupboard containing a hanging rack and a manual or automatic valve connection to a suitable water supply. The layflat hose system is installed in a fixed location within a building, ensuring a fast and easily available source of larger quantities of water. A branch or nozzle is also supplied to control the water distribution.
LPCB offers certification of fire hose reels to:-
- EN 671-1 Fixed firefighting systems - Hose systems:Part 1 Hose reels with semi-rigid hose
- EN671-2 Fixed firefighting systems - Hose Sysems:Part 2 Hose systems with lay-flat hose