Your checklist guide to proper fire hose reel maintenance

Bulbeck Fire on 10 October 2016

Correct installation, maintenance and replacement of fire hose reels is paramount to proper function. That's because ensuring hoses operate safely and effectively is an essential part of keeping building occupants safe from fire.

And where negligence causes or exacerbates fire, there can be severe legal ramifications. So ensuring premises are properly protected from fire also means protecting your own business.

fire hose reel container red2That's why we've produced this short guide to Australian Standard Maintenance of Fire Hose Reels (AS 2441-2005). The full guidelines can be found here for a $138 fee. But if you're looking for a more general checklist-style overview, read on...

Legal/industrial requirements

As per AS 1851-2005, fire hose reels must be tested by a qualified inspector every six months. At each half-yearly inspection, the following should be accounted for:

  • Confirm your knowledge of legislation is correct and up-to-date, including
  • Industry, customer and organisational requirements, occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and procedures.
  • State-specific building codes and work procedures requirements:

New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory

Organisational requirements

Check these are met but that they do not conflict with building codes.

  1. Liaise with the property/building manager
  2. Liaise with other relevant parties - eg office manager


Basic considerations:

  1. Contact the client and arrange a suitable time to inspect the hose reels.
  2. Obtain correct permits to inspect the hose reels (if necessary).
  3. Ensure you have an up-to-date plan of where hose reels are located in the building.
  4. Undertake inspection of hose reels according to current Australian Standard, industry legislation and customer requirements.



  1. Fire hose reel system provides sufficient length to reach every part of the floor/storey.
  2. Has a water supply rate of at least 0.33 litres/second for 19mm hose (AS 2441) or at least 0.41 litres/second for 25mm hose (AS 2441).
  3. Areas surrounding fire hose reels are clear from obstructions.
  4. When housed in a cabinet or cupboard, ensure no other items are stored inside.


Ensure building occupants can operate the system by:

  1. Locating the fire hose reel via proper signage.
  2. Following the displayed operating instructions.

After the inspection:

  1. Rewind hose in even layers
  2. Re-engage nozzle correctly with interlock
  3. Shut off valve
  4. Open discharge nozzle to de-pressurise hose
  5. Attach label to side plate showing date of service
  6. If hose is faulty, and description of fault to the attached label


Whenever the system is disabled for maintenance or modifications, special precautions should be implemented as detailed in Australian Standard AS 1851-2005 Section 1 Clause 1.14.


  1. Replace and repair any faulty or defective components. Ensure these repairs will bring the hose reel up to all relevant standards.
  2. Log and report repairs undertaken to building manager, office manager and/or any other relevant persons.
  3. Leave the place as you found it. Remove any equipment and clean up any mess.
  4. Complete all paperwork and distribute to relevant persons.


  1. Install the replacement hose reel. Ensure you follow the manufacturers' instructions.
  2. Ensure installation adheres to all state, industry and workplace requirements.
  3. Commission hose reel according to above requirements. Ensure it is in full working order.
  4. Leave the place as you found it. Remove any equipment and clean up any mess.
  5. Complete all paperwork and distribute to relevant persons.

Log inspection


  1. The date of each inspection carried out
  2. Any defects found