The fire fighting system of a building comprises pump-sets, roof tanks, pipe-works, sprinklers, hydrants and hose reel. Hose Reels provide the first line of defence for the building occupants in the event of fire. Like fire extinguishers, these are considered first aid appliances. As a part of the fire safety system, Hose Reels provide the residents with access to unlimited water supply for extinguishing fires. Due to a low flow rate, there is no problem of jet reaction, and being simple in operation, hose reels can be safely used by occupants to fight small fires in buildings. The spray from fire hose reels can also be used for protection against radiant heat. The fire hose reel outlets should be properly housed in glass-fronted cabinet secured under lock and key to prevent its misuse and abuse. Hose Reels can be used for woods, textiles, furniture, plastics (Basically Class A fires) etc. However, it should be noted that this piece of fire protection equipment should only be used as a preliminary defence. If the flame grows or is not easily contained, it is recommended to evacuate the area immediately. Fire extinguishers are more suitable for electrical fires and/or flammable liquids.
Vertical hose reels are standard fire fighting hose reels used in building applications. These are preferred in building applications due to low space requirement. The hose reel pipe is normally of ¾” to 1″ diameter size, with 30 mtrs length. Horizontal hose reels are larger (in width) as compared to vertical hose reels (and can thus accommodate longer lengths of hose), but have similar applications. As it is possible to mount larger diameter hoses (typically 1 to 1¼”), these are preferred in industrial fire fighting applications, and for use on Fire Tenders.
Ideally fire hose reels are located next to a fire hydrant, but not every hydrant needs a fire hose reel. The purpose of hose reel is to provide easy access of water to the residents of the building in case of fire emergency situation. Hence, hose reels are supposed to be installed in a way that they are not obstructed by any other furniture. It must be mounted in a considerable height and must not only support the weight of the apparatus but also the forces applied by the user pulling on the hose. To prevent potentially damaging leaks, it is very important to maintain the hose reel equipment with annual servicing.