Don’t be confused by fire hose pressure markings
The Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association wants to make sure fire departments understand what they’re getting when fire hose is delivered with new pressure markings specified by National Fire Protection Association Standard 1961, “Fire Hose.”
There won’t be any change in the pressures at which manufacturers perform what are known as proof, burst, and kink tests at the factory. Nor will the pressures change for NFPA-specified service tests that fire departments should perform on their hoses once a year.
What’s different is that the markings on the hose will carry the pressure figures for the service tests, not the proof tests. The proof test pressures manufacturers use are twice those for the fire departments’ service tests, and often fire departments would test to the higher number because that was the one printed on the hose, explains Sherman Stark, vice president for sales at National Fire Hose Corp. in Compton, Calif. Stark, who’s a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Hose, adds that people were getting hurt when used hose burst violently as water coursed through at test pressures intended only for new hose.
For an added safety factor, the new standard also recommends that fire departments buying hose specify it at 10 percent more than the expected operating pressure.