Fire-hose testing is a very important requirement, particularly for larger brigades such as Fire Rescue Victoria, Australia. When the firefighters roll out a hose at a fire scene, it is vital that the hose will handle the pressure applied by the pump. It is also critical to get water onto the fire as soon as possible, and for this a tested hose is essential. Regular testing of fire hose is, therefore, a standard operating procedure for these brigades.
Crusader Hose, a specialist fire-hose manufacturer located in Bayswater, Victoria, conducts this critical task for every fire hose it produces. Fire hose is tested to 2000kPa for the extruded rubber type and up to 1500kPa for the canvas type. All hose is tested in accordance with AS 2792 standards and to ISO 9000 quality.
Apart from manufacturing fire hose and reel systems, they also have an accredited testing facility for hydrostatic pressure testing of lay-flat hose. Due to this capability, they have been able to carry out fire-hose testing for large brigades as well as the Australian Army.
Francois Steverlynck, the Managing Director of Crusader Hose explained the risk of having a coupling come off the fire hose during testing. ‘The force of the blow-out can serious injury,’ he explained. ‘In fact, a few years ago, a local brigade had a coupling come off their 90mm fire hose under pressure, which broke a firefighter’s leg. We were soon after approached by the brigade captain to assist with this safety issue. It’s been a great partnership.’ Working closely with the fire brigade, the Crusader Hose solution for no-fail coupling attachment was to incorporate the secure wire whipping technique for all 90mm storz couplings. After that safety incident, not one coupling has ever blown off.
Wire whipping is a mechanical hose-binding technique. Incorporating high-quality steel wire, the hose-binding machine maintains consistent wire tension as it wraps around the hose securing the fitting. Wire whipping is not only secure but lightweight and gives the option of cutback and refitting the coupling if necessary.
Crusader Hose have recently purchased a swaging machine for their fitting department. This enhanced capability means that couplings can also be swaged or crimped onto large-diameter lay-flat hose.
‘We offer peace of mind,’ said Francois. ‘Not only does the brigade have a tested and certified hose but also a very secure coupling, with minimal risk of coming off under pressure. A great win for safety!’
For more information, go to www.crusaderhose.com.au