An attack fire hose safety bulletin was issued today by NFPA to remind fire departments about the importance of purchasing, maintaining, inspecting, removing and repairing fire hose in accordance with NFPA 1961: Standard on Fire Hose and NFPA 1962: Standard for the Care, Use, Inspection, Service Testing, and Replacement of Fire Hose, Couplings, Nozzles, and Fire Hose Appliances.
In recent years, fire hose thermal degradation has been cited as a concern during fire hose failure incidents. Following a tragic incident in Boston that took the lives of two firefighters in 2015, NIOSH issued a report that called for more research, dialogue, review of fireground tactics, and responsiveness from fire service research organizations, equipment manufacturers, standard-makers, and fire departments.
Scrutiny about fire hose characteristics and capabilities comes at a time when fires are burning more intensely than ever. Today’s open floor plans, construction materials and modern furnishings are causing flashover and structural collapse to occur faster. Firefighters have less time to fight fires and safely escape. It’s important that they have equipment that is in excellent working order, per the code, to withstand the intense fire environment.
NFPA and others are looking at whether fire hose can be improved. The Fire Protection Research Foundation conducted a workshop on Fire Hose in Support of the Technical Committee in 2016, and recommendations were shared for consideration in the next edition of the code to be released in 2019. Another report will be released next month on firefighter equipment and thermal conditions.
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