Many buildings are still equipped with fire hoses today. These hoses can be found inside cabinets, sometimes alone or paired with a portable fire extinguisher. These fire cabinets are mainly installed in the corridors of residential, institutional or industrial buildings. In industries, hoses are often installed on reels in storage areas. The most popular and least expensive hose is Polyflex®, a hose designed for use inside buildings.
This hose has several interesting characteristics. It is made of a simple polyester sheath coated with Mertex® interior coating, unique to Mercedes Textiles Ltd. The Mertex® process is a coating that fuses with the polyester fibre during the manufacturing process. According to the manufacturer, it is permanent and does not delaminate. This coating increases the strength of the polyester fibres while maintaining the flexibility of the casing. As the casing is extremely smooth on the inside, pressure losses are reduced and the flow rate is directly increased.
In addition, the reduced water absorption in the fibre reduces the weight of the casing while reducing the drying time. In addition, the pressurized casing stretches slightly, so the recoil movement is reduced during rapid feed stops. Polyflex® hose is available with brass connections with NPSH threads.
Three sizes are available, 50, 75 or 100 feet. To properly select your size you must measure the length of the valve to the wall minus 25 feet. The last 25 feet corresponds to the distance covered by the jet of the lance.
The manufacturer Mercedes Textiles Ltd. claims that these Polyflex® hoses are approved by FM (Factory Mutual) and UL (Underwriter laboratories). It specifies in the sizes indicated. They even add that Polyflex® meets or exceeds NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requirements including the 1961 standard and UL and FM standards or tests. It should be noted that the certification is permanently inscribed on the hoses at the time of purchase.
These hoses are resistant to most chemical and petroleum products, ozone, UV rays, hydrolysis, rot and mildew. Polyflex® remains flexible in extremely cold temperatures as low as -55°C (-56°F).
List of accessories most used with the hoses.
The plastic or brass nozzles are without a doubt an indispensable item. Note that for plastic nozzle you will have the choice between a nozzle that makes a mist spray (IBPLE) or a nozzle that projects a full spray (IBPL15). We recommend the mist spray nozzle since it is less risky to use it if the fire involves electrically live material.
The first step is to determine the appropriate cabinet model for your location. The choice is between a recessed or surface mount cabinet. Standard cabinets are normally 34″ X 34″ in size and can easily accommodate a 75 or 100 foot hose and a 5 or 10 lb. fire extinguisher (BC100). You can choose a cabinet with a door that includes a clear acrylic or a solid metal door (BC102).
Accessories for the cabinets:
There are 2 accessories that are often found in fire cabinets. First of all, the choke (IBDE); its function is to retain the flow of water for the time necessary to unfold the hose. Once the hose is completely unfolded, the user gives a sharp blow and the choke flap is released, releasing the water. In short, it allows only one person to activate the hose in case of fire. Otherwise, he must stretch the hose, make sure to close the hose nozzle, come back to open the valve and return to the site of the fire. If the hose nozzle is not closed, the hose will wander in all directions and good luck catching it. The other item is the key, preferably people choose the one called the trinal key (ICC21). This is the best, as it works well with fire hose couplings.
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There are 3 types of installations to choose from: horizontal, vertical or circular. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Horizontal hose reels:
This is the most popular choice mainly because of its low cost (IBD100). Disadvantages for this type of reel are felt when there is heavy traffic near the hose. People hang it up, the retaining pins come loose and the hose falls to the ground like a house of cards. The hose ends up on the ground and can be damaged if it does not put back in place. The solution then is to provide the reel with a cover corresponding to its length. There are 2 types of covers; the cover for the 75-foot hose reel (IBCH75) or the cover for the 100-foot hose reel (IBCH100).
The vertical reel:
This support is also well known under the name of Taraton. It allows you to install the hose on a square beam or inside I-beam. The hose is thus more solidly attached and better protected against accidental unrolling. This type of support requires more time during the installation and for reinsertion of the hose after testing.
The circular reel:
Often neglected because of its higher cost, it is still an excellent device for storing hoses. There are 2 models of circular reels: the 18″ diameter model can store 50 or 75 feet of hose (IBD18), the second larger model with a 24″ diameter can roll up to 150 feet of hose (IBD24). Access is easier and the hose can be replaced more easily than those installed on a horizontal reel. To install properly, you must fold the hose in half and rewind it on the reel. Make sure to place the fitting that connects to the valve directly in relation to the valve positioning. If the valve is at the bottom of the hose reel, the valve connection should be at the bottom and the nozzle connection at the top. Conversely, if the valve is at the top. The addition of a hose reel cover (IBC75 or IBC100) is a good practice to retain accidental hose unwinding.
Services and inspections:
As with all emergency equipment, hoses are not exempt from hydrostatic testing and inspection. Inspections must be carried out at least once a year. For hydrostatic testing, the cycle begins with a first test after 5 years depending on the date of manufacture and cycles of 3 years thereafter.
You can obtain these items from Sylprotec at their Saint-Léonard store or online at Sylprotec.com. They deliver everywhere in Canada. In addition, you can also purchase portable fire extinguishers and other items for your fire protection. Once on the site, you will have access to a host of safety items such as respirators, first aid items, posters and much more…
Sylvain Patrice t.p.i.
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