What To Look For When Buying Fire Hose

Content provided by Bill Allen, CEO & Founder of WFR Wholesale Fire & Rescue Ltd.

WFR is proud to be the exclusive distributor for a Canadian manufacturer of high-quality fire hose, Mercedes Textiles. Everyone is looking for lighter and thinner hose these days to allow more hose on the truck and less fatigue on the firefighters. Double Jacket fire hose is half the weight it was 30 years ago when WFR came into existence and this is a good thing and a bad thing!

It's great for handling and moving around, but there is so little material in the hose now to reduce weight and costs, it is becoming a danger to the firefighters. Hose seems to be one of those products that everyone calls in to get a price and the lowest bid wins. I bring this up because WFR has made a decision to discontinue one of our lightest and cost-effective hoses (Ultra-Lite) because we are concerned for the safety of our customers. The Ultra-Lite hose meets all pressures and standards, but the poly jacket does not have the material in it we are comfortable with. We are moving back to more material in our hoses to give us more wear and heat protection for firefighters.

Yes, you can expect to pay more for higher-end heavier hoses, but not only will they give your firefighters greater safety, they will last longer.

Things to look for when buying fire hose:

  • All hoses on the market will give you the mold and mildew resistance but adding a Urethane or other coating on the outside of the jacket (to allow abrasion resistance and prevent water from getting in between the two jackets) is a definite benefit. And you can add color to your hose with these coatings.
  • We also recommend a hose with a through-the-weave rubber inner liner for towns and cities with high-rises and large industrial buildings to withstand high temperatures, such as our Aquapower, Ultra-Stream Plus, or KrakenExo.
  • We will still supply the TPU liners in some of our more economical hoses, such as our Ultra-Tuff line, but there will be adequate material in our jackets to reduce failure due to heat. But be aware, these hoses will fail before hoses with rubber liners when subjected to direct heat. If most of your attacks on fires are not inside structures, these hoses will perform adequately for you. However, if your firefighters are subjected to internal fire suppression on a fairly regular basis, then we recommend the inner jacket be a rubber hose, not a TPU lined polyester jacket.

I have attached a link from 2014 that you may find interesting to understand our concern. As always, I would like to thank you for partnering with WFR for your life-saving products.

- Bill Allen