WCFD conducts fire hose safety check
With 9,100 feet of hose laid out across Bank and Seneca Streets, 23 members of the Webster City Fire Department conducted its annual fire hose safety check Monday night.
According to Fire Chief Chuck Stansfield, the check is conducted each year to keep the Webster City Fire Department in compliance with the standards of the National Fire Protection Association.
With thousands of feet of hose, the worst possible time to discover leak is when the department is battling a fire, said Stansfield. So each fall, department volunteers gather to stretch out all the hoses and send water rushing through each one.
The hoses carry over 1,000 gallons of water per minute with 200 PSI. Each truck carries 600 feet of four-inch hose and 400 feet of 1.5-inch hose, reported Stansfield. There is also 600 feet of 2.5-inch hose at the station house.
In order to check the hoses, firefighters unroll the hoses from the trucks and lay them out along the street. Water is sent through the hose and any leak is identified. The couplings are also checked to insure hoses can be effectively connected to a hydrant.
Hose repair is possible but it depends on where the leak is found, said Stansfield.
“If leaks are near the coupling, we can splice the hose and put it back in service,” said Stansfield. But if it a leak is located more than 10 feet from either end, it can’t be put back into service.
Couplings are a different matter, Stansfield explained. Firefighters draw a black line against the coupling and if the hose expands so that the black line moves away from the coupling when water flows through it, the coupling is replaced.
The check is most often conducted in the fall when the temperatures cool off, said Stansfield. Statistically, the most common occurrence of fires is when the weather begins to warm up in the spring and when it cools down in the fall.
“We like to do this in September before Fire Safety Month in October,” said Stansfield.