Fire safety is a real concern, especially if you own a multi-story rental property. A fire hose is often a required aspect of the safety plan in this scenario, since it gives first responders and residents access to an alternative method if fire extinguishers prove ineffective. The following tips will help you ensure your hose is in good condition in case it is ever called into duty.
Tip #1: Mount it appropriately
Mounting hardware isn't usually a concern since the fire safety installer will place it on a proper hose spool when they are connecting it into the building's water supply line. What you want to make sure of is that this location is not in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat, since both of these things can weaken the hose material over time. Also, make sure the location can be easily found and accessed in the event of an emergency but that it isn't in a place where the hose could block an escape route while in use.
Tip #2: Put it undercover
While it is acceptable to store the hose exposed on its spool, it will lengthen the life of the hose if you also have a hose compartment installed. This compartment encases the hose but is easy and quick to open in the event the hose is needed. The main function of the compartment is to protect the hose from dirt and damage so that you will not need to clean it as often or worry as much about a leak occurring.
Tip #3: Unroll and inspect regularly
How often you should unroll and inspect the hose varies, so it's best to to ask your safety company or the hose manufacturer for guidance. Generally, you should probably make sure to perform a full inspection at least once a year. To inspect, simply unroll the hose and look for obvious damage, such as permanent crimps in the line, rust, or corrosion. Also, check that the couplers are in good condition and show no signs of damage, like rust or dents. Once inspected, roll the hose back up loosely on the spool.
Tip #4: Always store dry
If your hose is used, either due to an emergency or as part of an annual inspection, then you will need to leave it unrolled until it is completely dry inside and out. Failure to do so increase the chances of rust and corrosion. You may be able to speed the process by using an air compressor to blow air through the hose to dry out the inside quickly.