How to Maintain and Care For Fire Hoses
While BullDog Hose Company hose products are in a league of their own with quality and performance, they need to be properly cared for like any other product. A hose that is properly maintained can make all of the difference when facing a fire emergency. In this article we will highlight general guidelines of proper hose maintenance and care to ensure that you get the most out of your BullDog hose. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a detailed and comprehensive guide for fire hose maintenance, the link is included at the end of this article.
Properly cleaning hoses can truly extend product lifespan. Also, regularly cleaning a hose allows the user to continually gage the condition of the hose. All hoses should be cleaned and inspected after each use before being moved to storage or back into service. Runoff water from fire may carry foreign materials that can damage hose. In the event of the hose coming in contact with oils or chemicals, a mild detergent may be applied to the affected area using a stiff brush. Then, extensively rinse the hose with clean water. Make sure to look over both sides of the hose for any slices, rips, cracked inner innings, or damaged couplings that may have occurred during use.
Following proper fire hose usage during emergency situations can greatly affect how much wear and tear your hose experiences. When using the hose in fire response, avoid dragging the hose over sharp objects or abrasive surfaces. While the hose may be designed to be abrasion resistant, it is better to not risk damaging your hoses. Tools such as a hose roller or an intake strainer can help minimize the risk of damage. A hose roller helps prevent damage when dragging the hose over sharp corners such as roof edges and windowsills. Intake strainers attach to supply hoses and filter out large pieces of foreign material that may damage the interior of the hose.
All hoses should be stored in cool, dry and well-ventilated conditions. Hoses should also be drained and dried before being put into long-term storage. Keeping moisture at bay is a must. When loading hoses onto a fire apparatus, the hose should be stowed in such a way to allow air circulation and to minimize abrasion damage. All hoses should be removed from apparatus and reloaded to change the position of fold at least once every three months.
Hose Testing And Inspection Guidelines:
Continue to regularly test and inspect your hoses to help ensure that everything is in good working condition. All hoses should be inspected and service tested at least once a year annually. Make sure to check that the hose and couplings are clear of debris, burns, cuts, and abrasions. When conducting service tests, all safety precautions should be closely followed in accordance with NFPA 1962 standards. For BullDog hoses, the appropriate service test pressure is stenciled on each length of hose. Detailed hose records should be maintained in order to prevent the potential for a damaged hose being put into emergency situations.
For more information about BullDog Hose Company and how to properly maintain hoses, check out our blog. The full version of the NFPA 1962 standard is available for purchase at www.nfpa.org.