Fire hose reels, if installed, are generally installed in a building at the time of construction and are a permanent fixture designed for the protection of the building. They are generally 36 metres in length with an interlock fitted, designed to hold the nozzle locked in place until the water valve is turned on.
The water used for hose reels is unmetered and should not be used for any purpose other than firefighting. As stated, it is an offence under safety legislation to tamper or damage any safety equipment.
The only safe way to use a hose reel internally is from a door way with quick access to the outside air and from a safe distance. It may be used outside to extinguish embers from an adjoining fire or to protect exposures from a car fire in the car park. Fire hose reels are tested and checked every six months as per AS1851.2.
To operate follow the instructions on the Hose Reel drum but in general terms do the following:
Hose reels can deliver water under extreme pressure depending on the size and capacity of the firewater main. Do not operate the hose reel too close to a fire as it may spread the fire to uninvolved areas due to the pressure. Never use on fires involving live electrical equipment or wiring.