Mining, oil and gas

MSHA: Rubber-type hoses not safe for mine sprinkler systems

piping water sprinkler

Photo: MSHA

Washington – Rubber-type hoses used in deluge-type water spray and water sprinkler systems could pose safety hazards and are not as effective as steel piping, according to a new safety alert from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The National Fire Protection Association Code No. 13 outlines the standard for installing sprinkler systems. Rubber-type hoses are not specified as an acceptable material, but Section 3003 of the standard allows for alternative types of piping if they have been investigated and approved by a nationally recognized testing and inspection agency. MSHA testing does not qualify under such guidelines.

“The [rubber-type] hoses may not withstand the extreme heat long enough to suppress or extinguish a fire,” MSHA says in the safety alert. “These hoses are also susceptible to movement when pressurized or when water starts flowing, which could cause water to not be applied to a fire. Steel piping that is adequately secured is more effective for preventing such movement and for withstanding the heat of a fire.”