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Thread: Colored Hose

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SkipJack270's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    New Haven, CT

    Default Colored Hose

    Our department is considering buying colored hose, to help identify which handline to charge, etc.
    Any other purpose built " idiot proof" gear out there that would make our lives safer and easier? I know it's kind of a stupid question, but then again, before our LT said something, nobody had ever considered it, or heard of it. Thanks.
    Isiah 43: When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze
    9-11-01. We Will Never Forget You.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    yes. I think it is a very good idea. We dont have colored hose b/c everyone knows what to pull first. The only colored hose is the 4inch and the booster line, and the 3/4 " and the 1 1/2".
    Rob aka Squinty

    The Fighting Seventy-Third

    Westville Fire Department
    Gloucester County
    New Jersey

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber AC1503's Avatar
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    May 1999


    We have pre-connected lines of yellow, white, red, & blue. The discharges, drain valves, discharge valve handles, & nozzles match each hose color.

    There are also colored rubber bands on the market that can be placed on hose for coding.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
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    Jul 2001


    Has anyone tried using the "Rit" fabric dye to color code their own hose. It is an Idea that we have brainstormed since the $15 more per section was "too much money" when we bought 1000 ft of new 1 3/4 and the Chief is not going to buy new hose just so it is colored. He did say we could try it if we used our own hose

    The place that I work at has color coded hose and it works well for us

  5. #5
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
    In a van down by the CT River!


    The mattydales on our two Engine Tanks and Tanker are all different colors. Alot better than using tape on the couplings, in my opinion.
    IACOJ Agitator
    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Mar 2000


    TFT makes color-coding rings that slip over the male couplings. They're thin enough not to interfere with coupling.

    They match the color-coded handle covers thar are available from TFT. I couldn't find them in the on-line catalog, so it might take a call to them direct for the p/n to order.

    Not quite as visible as full-color or striped hose, but better then nothing.

    The big advantage though is you don't end up having to keep a supply of like-colored hose on hand for when you clean hose or loose a length due to burn through.

    I know after a messy fire we tend to wash the hose and leave it to dry, and put spare hose back in the mattydales.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    2 trucks...4 colors....2 sizes...2 materials.

    Each truck has 2 1 3/4" crosslays. On each of the trucks, one of those crosslays is Orange, which also happens to be the prepiped foam system on each truck, therefore, orange is always foam capable. The 2 other crosslays (1 each truck) are different colors.

    Each truck also has 1 2 1/2" that is preconnected, each being a different color.

    There are also 1 3/4" plastic trashlines on the front bumpers that are colored.

    You may have to say shut down the yellow plastic line if both yellow lines are in, but only one of them is plastic, the other is cloth.

    The color coding helps immensely when inside a building and multiple lines are there.

    Our other company in town has gone to using white hose with colored stripes to avoid confusion with our lines. We've been using the system for about 15 years now and have had no problems with it.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    on our new engine we have four colors yellow, red, blue, and white. Those colors match the lever's to charge which ever lines our pulled soit is easier for the enginer. plus we no that the yellow line is 150 feet 13/4 the red line is 200 13/4 feet so all in all I'd say color hose help's us in our department anyway's.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    We use colors on all the primary 1 3/4 attack lines.

    Brown for trash line in bumper
    Red/Yellow primary attack lines
    Orange on one Pumper for foam line

    The other truck all lines are capable of foam

    Makes it easier to talk to engineer about inc/dec pressure etc.
    Also makes it easier for people on the scene to talk about what line to move.

    If you don't respond.....who will

    IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
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  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Next to the big ditch


    I have seen two different methods of this done. One local department uses different colored hose for each truck. When all the hose is pulled off and used it is a lot easier to put back. Another department has each size hose a different color. In a hurry you can just glance at it and know what size it is, it cuts down on confusion during a fire.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Feb 2000


    We just purchased different colored hose for each engine. Each engine has 4 different colored preconnects on it so it is easy to tell the difference. We went with different colored hose instead of the color coded rubber bands made by TFT. A buddy of mine said they work fine if you don't drag the hose on the ground. The band gets rubbed down the hose and sometimes breaks off he said. I personally do not have experience with the rubber bands. The different colored hose was no extra charge over the standard issue white so what the hay!!

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  12. #12
    Forum Member Trkco1's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    New Jersey


    Just FYI, if you contact TFT by phone or e-mail and tell them what type of nozzle and color you want, they will send you the bail handle free of charge.
    Last edited by Trkco1; 02-04-2003 at 04:00 PM.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2001


    I've seen hose color coding used in all sorts of ways.

    Some departments use different colors on every truck. This does not require the high visibility of colored hose and is better accomplished with colored couplings. Additionally, if you purchase colored couplings to differentiate hose between apparatus (such as those made by Kochek), you can also color code all of your fittings and adapters to match.

    Some departments color code hose by hose size (eg, all 1 3/4" is red, all 2 1/2" is blue, etc). Unless you use 1 1/2", 1 3/4", and 2" hose all for your attack lines, your firefighters better be able to tell the difference between attack line sizes at a glance. Another waste of color coding.

    Some departments color code lines by length. If you're really worried about your firefighters not being able to tell the difference between the 100' trash line and the 200' attack line, then label the beds. Don't waste your color coding options.

    Hose color coding should be reserved for differentiating each individual attack line (no, it's not to determine which line to pull first). The engineer shouldn't have to deal with "Charge my line!" "Which line are you on?" "The one on the second floor." The firefighters shouldn't have to notice whether they pulled Ďpre-connect 1í or Ďpre-connect 3í before they stretch the line.

    Color coding of individual attack lines should be an NFPA standard. It is just plain unsafe to not have this communication advantage between your attack teams and engineers. Colored hose isnít some new technology thatís just been introduced to the market.

    If you are worried about keeping a bunch of spare color coded hose on hand, DON'T. There are plenty of solutions. One example:

    Your 1 3/4" lines are color coded red, white, and green, respectively. Your 2 1/2" lines are blue and black. Your spare 1 3/4" can be orange and brown, and your spare 2 1/2" yellow, enabling you to use the spare hose to replace any line.

    Another idea:

    Color code all of your attack lines using any colors you like, except white. Buy all of your spare hose white. When you place the spare white hose on the rig, outfit it with colored bands on the couplings like Dal mentioned. The colored bands on the white hose should correspond to the color of the hose that is normally in that bed. Now you just need to keep your standard compliment of spare hose and a set of colored bands, not a whole slew of colored hose.

    Oh, did I mention that we color code our attack lines......?

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