Fire Hose Reel System

Fire hose reels are provided for the occupants of a building to take “first strike” action against a fire.  As a part of the fire safety system, they provide the occupants with access to unlimited water supply for extinguishing fires and for protecting themselves from radiant heat.  In a 2017 study, the Australian Building Control Board questioned the benefits of fire hose reels versus portable fire extinguishers in office buildings.  In the UK, a study found that 80% of first strike responses were with portable fire extinguishers.

Clause E1.4(a) (b) and (c) prescribes in which buildings a fire hose reels system is required with the type of system being suitable for its purpose for all building permits.

The performance clause EP1.1 for fire hose reels states:

A fire hose reel system must be installed to the degree necessary to allow occupants to safely undertake initial attack on a fire appropriate to:

  1. the size of the fire compartment; and
  2. the function or use of the building; and
  3. any other fire safety systems installed in the building; and
  4. the fire hazard.

Often people are confused by the subtle differences between the requirements for fire hydrants and fire hose reels.

  • Every fire hose reel must be located next to a fire hydrant, but not every hydrant needs a fire hose reel.
  • If the building has internal fire hydrants, then fire hose reels are required.
  • For any sole-occupancy unit, or fire compartment, greater than 500m2 fire hose reels are required, whether or not there are hydrants located internally.

The Australian standard AS2441 defines the concept “system coverage”.  The fire hose reel or reels, need to be located within a design such that the occupant can reach a fire in any part of the building.  The maximum length of hose allowed for this calculation is 36m with a 4m spray from the nozzle. It is system coverage that will determine if internal hydrants are required.

FSP can provide Fire hose reel design to Australian Standards. We analysis each project on its merits, and provide an economical design using the latest technology and best practices available:

  • AS 2441:2005 – Installation of fire hose reels