Fire Fighting Systems

Fire fighting systems and equipment vary depending on the age, size, use and type of building construction. A building may contain some or all of the following features:

  • fire extinguishers

  • fire hose reels

  • fire hydrant systems

  • automatic sprinkler systems.

 

Fire hose reels are provided for use by occupants as a 'first attack' fire fighting measure but may, in some instances, also be used by firefighters. When stowing a fire hose reel, it is important to first attach the nozzle end to the hose reel valve, then close the hose reel valve, then open the nozzle to relieve any pressure in the wound hose, then close the nozzle. This achieves two principle objectives:

  • A depressurised hose and hose reel seal will last longer than if permanently pressurised.

  • When the hose reel is next used, the operator will be forced to turn on the isolating valve, thus charging the hose reel with pressurised water supply, before being able to drag the hose to the fire. A potential danger exists if the operator reaches the fire and finds no water is available because the hose reel valve is still closed.

Because hose reels are generally located next to an exit, in an emergency it is possible to reach a safe place simply by following the hose. In South Australia, a unique floor mounted swivel hose guide is often employed which lays the hose at floor level, prior to being dragged by the operator. In practice for a single person, this makes withdrawal of the hose much easier than does the traditional high level swinging arm hose guide.

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