Below is a summary of good practice and the key points of the parts of BS
EN 671-3:2009 relating to the Maintenance of hose reels with semi-rigid
hose and hose systems with lay-flat hose. Readers
are referred to the British Standard itself for full details and reminded that
this is a summary only.
This document is broken down into the following sections:
Throughout, references to the pertinent parts of the British Standards and/or
other legislation have been included as
The Standard defines1 the
responsible person as being the “person responsible for or having
effective control over fire safety provisions adopted in or appropriate
to the premises or the building”.
Please see the corresponding notes on ‘Responsible Person’ on our
Fire Safety Order and
Fire (Scotland) Act
Most commonly, the responsible person will be the employer, landlord,
Please note that that the term ‘person’ is a legal term in this
context and, in addition to referring to an individual, it may equally
refer to an incorporated company, a partnership, etc.
The Standard comprehensively defines2
the necessary elements of competency to undertake the maintenance of
fire extinguishers. The definition refers to “the necessary training and
experience with access to the relevant tools, equipment and information,
manuals and knowledge of any special procedures recommended by the
Under the standard, and under current legislation, it is the duty of
the responsible person to ensure the competency of those undertaking
Hose reels coming under the scope of this standard should be maintained as it sets out.
This consists of the following key stages:
The standard notes that the responsible person (or their nominated representative)
should regularly undertake a check of the hose reels on a frequency
essentially determined by risk assessment3.
This should check that each hose reel is3:
- located in the designated place;
- unobstructed, visible and has legible operating instructions; and
- not obviously defective, corroded or leaking.
The responsible person should immediately arrange any corrective action required3.
The basic inspection and maintenance by the Competent Person, should
be conducted annually4.
The specifics of the basic inspection and maintenance are not listed here
(the reader is referred to the British Standard for full details), but they
include4 the full running out of the hose
and checks that:
- certain parts are checked for correct operation;
- check of steady and sufficient water;
- check of entire length of hose;
- check of supply pipe (particularly were this is of the flexible type)
In addition to the above basic inspection and maintenance, hose reels should,
every five years, undergo extended maintenance5.
During this extended inspection and maintenance, the hose reels are brought to
maximum working pressure according to EN 671-1 and/or EN 671-2.
Due to practical difficulties, it is normally more cost-effective for
hoses to be simply replaced anew, rather than undergo this testing
The British Standards are covered by copyright and are not available freely. However, these can be purchased at
British Standard Online or alternatively, some libraries may carry copies of
the more common standards.
- As per BS EN 671-3:2009, clause 3.3.
- As per BS EN 671-3:2009, clause 3.1.
- As per BS EN 671-3:2009, clause 4.
- As per BS EN 671-3:2009, clause 6.1.
- As per BS EN 671-3:2009, clause 6.2.