The Difference Between Fire Hydrants And Fire Hose Reels

June 13, 2022


In the event of a fire, controlling the blaze before it engulfs the premises can help to prevent extensive damage and loss of life. Fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and fire hydrants are the first line of defence against fires, providing different methods to bring a range of fires under control.

But what is the difference between all these fire safety methods and what types of fires can they be used on? We’re going to take a closer look at the difference between fire hydrants and fire hose reels and explore how they are best used.

What are the differences between fire hydrants and fire hose reels?

While both pieces of equipment use water to help bring fires under control, they have different use cases and purposes.

Fire Hydrants:

Fire hydrants are the connection point that firefighters use to access the water supply near the location of a fire. They help to supplement the emergency water tanks that fire trucks carry, providing an endless supply of water. Getting access to fire hydrants can be essential to getting large, intense fires under control quickly, as the quantity and pressure of the water released from the hydrants is much more than regular water supplies. They are used for fighting fires from a long range distance, with the pressure from the hydrants and hose supporting large quantities of water being dumped into the heart of the blaze.

Fire hydrants are designed specifically to connect to fire fighting hoses, ensuring fast and effortless access to water when time is of the essence. They are also strategically placed and painted in signal red so that they can easily be identified during a fire emergency.

There are different requirements for hydrants compared to fire hose reels, with larger commercial premises requiring a hydrant to be placed outside within easy access and distance from the building. They must be compliant with fire brigade equipment in the area so that firefighters can connect quickly and activate and/or boost the supply of water.

Fire Hose Reels:

Fire hose reels on the other hand are designed to be used by building occupants in the event of a fire. They are used for short-range fire fighting, allowing users to be up to 4 metres from the blaze. The stream of water from fire hose reels is strong enough to effectively control small fires, and they are designed to be easy to use for everyday people. Fire hydrants and fire fighting hoses on the other hand are difficult to control if you are not trained in using them.

Fire hose reels can be used in many different fire events, however they are not suitable for chemical or electrical fires. Using fire hose reels to control these types of fires may not be effective, as water can react with or not hamper the source of the fire.

Rather than free-standing water supply connection points (like fire hydrants) fire hose reels are permanently connected to the water supply and installed inside or on the building itself. They are designed to be easily accessed and used by first responders or building occupants and the general public. They must be installed in locations that provide strategic coverage of the entire premises, and must comply with all the relevant Australian Standards and Building Code requirements of the state or territory that you are in.


Installing fire hydrants and fire hose reels

The installation of fire hose reels and fire hydrants needs to be conducted by fire safety professionals, as there are compliance requirements that need to be adhered to. According to the Australian standard AS2441, fire hose reels must be located within the building design so that the hose can reach a fire in any part of the building. Most reels have a hose length of 36 metres, so if the building size is larger than this or has several levels, multiple fire hose reels will be required.

We supply and install fire hose reels for businesses in Brisbane, with services carried out by trained and highly experienced technicians. Our services for fire hose reels include:

  • Assessing suitable locations for installation
  • Providing and installing fire hose reel equipment in line with fire safety standards
  • Training occupants on how to use fire hose reels in the event of a fire
  • Providing ongoing fire hose reel inspections, maintenance, and hydrant and fire hose reel testing
  • Providing repairs and replacements for faulty or old equipment

Find out more about our services here.


Why Brisbane Fire Services

We are experienced in fire hose reels and hydrants servicing and inspections in Brisbane for a range of businesses and buildings. We can provide expert advice on placement of fire safety equipment, as well as providing installation and maintenance services on an ongoing basis, in line with regular testing requirements.

If you are looking for an expert team to manage your fire safety equipment to ensure your building is safe and compliant, get in touch with us today by calling 0499 198 427 or contacting us here.


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