Fire Hose reels

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

Satish Nakched,


Fire hose reels is a hand op­er­ated fire­fight­ing equip­ment which are in­stalled in the new build­ings through the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Na­tional Fire Au­thor­ity and are sub­ject to cer­tain con­di­tions for the safety of all the oc­cu­pants.

It is an ac­tive fire pro­tec­tion de­vice used to ex­tin­guish or con­trol a fire, of­ten in emer­gency sit­u­a­tion pri­mar­ily used to re­spond to fires in the early stages of de­vel­op­ment. A com­pe­tent per­son with a well ser­viced and main­tained fire hose reel can pre­vent a dis­as­ter from oc­cur­ring. The equip­ment should be well iden­ti­fied and con­ve­niently lo­cated to pro­vide a rea­son­ably ac­ces­si­ble and con­trolled sup­ply of water to com­bat a po­ten­tial fire risk, es­pe­cially where build­ing oc­cu­pants are trapped and can­not es­cape to an emer­gency exit. Fire hose reels are man­u­fac­tured to com­ply with ap­proved stan­dards. They are con­nected to the main water sup­ply and are ei­ther wall-mounted or in cab­i­nets. They re­quire ap­pro­pri­ate sig­nage in­di­cat­ing their lo­ca­tion and suit­abil­ity.

The length of a fully ex­tended fire hose may range be­tween 18 and 36 me­tres with a max­i­mum di­ame­tre of 25 mil­lime­tre. All the water in­let sup­ply pipes above the ground is to be made of gal­vanised pip­ing as heat is one of the com­po­nent of fire and can have an ad­verse ef­fect and may melt should it be made with polyvinyl chlo­ride (PVC) pipes. Th­ese equip­ments may be mounted be­tween 1.5 and 2.4 me­tres on the wall and painted red which in­di­cates apart from the fire fight­ing it can­not be used for any other pur­pose. A prop­erly de­signed fire hose can reach flames from a safe dis­tance us­ing pres­surised water. The amount of water can quickly put dan­ger­ous flames un­der con­trol and also help to cre­ate a bar­rier pre­vent­ing the spread of the fire. I have noted that many build­ings that the above sur­face water in­let pipes are made of PVC here in Fiji. This is done be­cause work­ing with PVC pipes are eas­ier and quicker thus ig­nor­ing the Na­tional Build­ing Code stan­dards and plac­ing the peo­ple at a very high risk. The Suva mar­ket is one such lo­ca­tion and must be cor­rected. The rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties must au­dit such equip­ment when con­duct­ing the an­nual in­spec­tion at the work places with the view to re­new their busi­ness li­cence.

This proac­tive ap­proach will en­sure safety of all in the build­ing and nearby vicin­ity.

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