Video and Article on the new findings of lightweight hose failures

Researchers are calling out the safety of lightweight hose and its potential failures.  In a video and article posted by the Boston Hearold they examine this theory.  Take a read below.

Boston Hearold – “A leading fire safety researcher is sounding the alarm over faulty fire hoses, warning that the popular lightweight version — similar to the one that burned in a Beacon Street blaze that killed two Boston firefighters — are failing nationwide.

“This is a problem that has just bubbled to the surface. It’s a tsunami,” said Kathy Notarianni, an associate professor in the Fire Protection Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. “We’re finding more burn-throughs around the country of fire attack hoses. This knowledge needs to get out there so firefighters can buy thicker hoses.”

WPI, one of only three fire safety research centers in the nation, was recently awarded $75,000 from the Last Call Foundation to study fire hoses and develop one that will be more fire-resistant. The foundation was started by Kathy Crosby-Bell — the mother of Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, who died March 26 along with colleague Lt. Edward Walsh Jr., 43, in a nine-alarm fire at 298 Beacon St.

But three weeks into her research, Notarianni said she’s already spotting flaws in attack fire hoses.

“My phone started ringing and my inbox started going crazy when everyone learned we were looking into this,” she said. “I’m now alarmed we have a bigger problem than we first thought.”

“I’m very afraid of what’s happening and we’re only seeing hints of what could be out there,” she added. “The hose is failing where we don’t expect it.”

Dennis LeGear, a nationally known firefighting consultant from California, said the WPI research has hit on a problem that can be partially traced to fighting fires in high-rise buildings. The lighter attack lines are easier to carry, fold up quickly and cost less than larger hoses. And many fire departments are buying them and using them at routine house and apartment building fires.

“Lightweight hoses were designed only to be used for firefighters carrying hoses into high rises,” LeGear said. “To me it’s like a disease. If you get a hose into a high-rise system, someone in your department might suggest it go into your rigs.”

Finding a fix for the flammable light hoses, LeGear said, is a gargantuan undertaking.”…Continue Reading Here

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