The mere presence of a fire hose is not enough to ensure fire safety. Regular inspections of the fire hose need to be performed to ensure that it will adequately serve its purpose in the event of a fire.

If a fire hose is housed in a cabinet, it's as important to inspect the cabinet as it is to look over the hose apparatus itself during inspections. The following are a few safety considerations for ensuring that the fire hose cabinet won't create obstacles or hazards when a fire hose needs to be accessed during an emergency situation:

Instructions for use

One of the most important features of the fire hose cabinet is the presentation of instructions for use of the fire hose. A fire hose is useless in the event of an emergency if no one presents knows how to use it. For this reason, instructions for operation of the fire hose are typically posted on the cabinet.

During inspection, these instructions should be looked over to determine that they are still legible and present in their entirety. 

Damage to the cabinet

The cabinet serves to protect the fire hose from damage. If it becomes broken, the fire hose itself could become punctured or damaged. A damaged cabinet needs to be repaired, and the fire hose needs to be carefully inspected to look out for shards of glass or other debris that may have become lodged into the hose. 

Storage location

When a building fire occurs, the location of the fire hose is of vital importance. The fire hose cabinet needs to be placed in a location that allows the fire hose to reach as much of the building as possible through a pathway that's quickly traversed and free of obstacles. 

When the fire hose is inspected, you should consider whether new construction or equipment in the building has created an obstruction that might make relocation of the fire hose cabinet necessary. 

Climate in storage area

Climate extremes could cause damage to the fire hose over time. Extremely hot and cold temperatures can cause hose materials to expand and contract, and this could cause tears or gaps to develop in connections and couplings. 

Accessibility of hose when cabinet is open

Another highly important thing to consider during inspection is how easily the cabinet can be opened. Make sure that it doesn't have a tendency to jam or become locked in place, because this could be disastrous in the event of a fire. Also, make sure that the cabinet door opens wide enough so that the hose rack can easily be swung outside and accessed.