Fire hoses lead fairly rough lives, when you think about it. So any way you can “baby” your fire hoses will pay off with regard to the performance and longevity of the product.
One excellent way you can improve the life and reliability of your fire hoses is by properly cleaning them. This is especially a good habit to get into for woven single jacketed or double jacketed hoses.
Follow these procedures to make sure you’re taking the best possible care of your fire hoses.
- Unroll the hose. Avoid dragging the hose whenever possible to prolong service life..
- Stretch the hose out entirely on a clean and level surface.
- Be careful to protect the exposed threaded couplings. If you are cleaning multiple sections, lay them next to each other but separated enough so they drain properly.
- Consider what hazardous materials the hose has been exposed to: gasoline, oil, etc. Check out the manufacturer’s recommendations to decontaminate the hose.
- Dry brush the hose with a soft- or medium-bristle brush to clean off the surface debris before washing it.
- Rinse the hose with clean water using low pressure so you don’t push contaminants into the hose jacket.
- Use a cleaning solution of warm water and mild detergent. Using a long brush with soft or medium bristles, scrub the hose.
- Thoroughly flush all the detergent from the hose jacket on both sides.
- After rinsing, dry the hose completely by whatever method works best for the weather conditions in your area and your facility’s equipment. Avoid drying hoses on hot pavement or under direct sunlight, which can damage hose jackets and the lining.
- Before loading into the hose bed or storing for an extended period of time, make sure the hose is thoroughly dried.
Always remember care and maintenance for fire hoses must comply with the NFPA’s Standard for Inspection, Care and Use of Fire Hoses, Couplings and Nozzles.