Hose reel systems are generally regarded as a first-aid fire-fighting measure intended for use by the occupants of the building. The fire service may also make use of them for small incidents. They are particularly useful for fire protection in buildings where there is a trained fire party or where contract works are frequently undertaken.
If specified, hose reels should be sited in prominent and accessible positions on each floor level and should preferably be adjacent to exits. Sufficient hose reels should be located so that the nozzle can be taken into any room and reach to within six metres of the furthest part of any room (so that the water jet from the nozzle can be brought to bear on any part of the room). There should be no areas of the floor level that cannot be reached by at least one hose reel.
Sprinkler systems are one of the oldest and most reliable methods of detecting and controlling fires automatically. They are primarily intended for property protection, but can have a role in life safety if they are specifically designed for that purpose and if they operate in conjunction with other fire safety provisions.