FRNSW hose connections
Hose connections on fire hydrant and fire sprinkler systems are required to be compatible with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) equipment. The hose connections may be either NSW Fire Brigade Thread (FBT) or Storz.
For building owners and managers
Any fire hydrant or fire sprinkler system installed in a premises must have compliant inlets and outlets fitted (i.e. hose connections). The inlets and outlets are compliant if they meet the standard to which they were installed and commissioned.
If non-compliant hose connections are installed, it is the owner’s responsibility to have them replaced with compliant ones. The owner should engage a fire protection company to install compliant hose connections within a reasonable time frame. FRNSW recommends engaging a fire protection company that is a member of a nationally recognised professional body or organisation and agrees to a fire protection industry code of conduct.
Fire brigade booster inlets
For systems installed pre-2008, fire brigade booster inlets should comprise a female dynamic joint having fire brigade thread (FBT). These do not need to be upgraded with Storz hose connections unless the entire system is being modified or upgraded.
For systems installed or modified post-2008, fire brigade booster inlets should comprise an NEN 3374 ‘permanent pressure coupling’ (i.e. forged Storz hose connection with BSP thread). The Storz hose connection may have either a male or female thread.
Fire hydrant valve outlets
For systems installed pre-2008, fire hydrant valve outlets should comprise male FBT outlet. These do not need to be upgraded with Storz hose connections unless the entire system is being modified or upgraded.
For systems installed or modified post-2008, fire hydrant valve outlets should comprise either existing male FBT outlet fitted with a forged FBT-Storz adaptor,
or an NEN 3374 ‘permanent pressure coupling’ (i.e. forged Storz hose connection with BSP thread).
Do I need to upgrade my hose connections?
Fire hydrant and fire sprinkler systems which have FBT hose connections do not need to be upgraded to Storz, unless the entire system is being modified or upgraded by way of a fire safety order issued by a regulatory authority (e.g. Council) or through voluntary building modification, extension or alteration (e.g. development application process).
Australian Standard AS 2419.1-2005 states both FBT and Storz hose connections are acceptable in NSW. In 2008 FRNSW published a technical information sheet which specified the fitting of a forged aluminium FBT-Storz adaptor to the fire hydrant system of any new development. Failures have occurred because some Storz hose connections have been found to be cast and not forged, to not meet any minimum standard of performance or to not be compatible with FRNSW equipment.
If identified on your system, any non-complying Storz hose connections will need to be replaced with compliant Storz hose connections.
Are my Storz hose connections compatible with FRNSW equipment?
To be compatible with FRNSW equipment, Storz hose connections are required to have a form, fit and function equivalent to the Storz hose couplings as fitted to firefighting hoses used by FRNSW. This means having a 65 mm Storz hermaphrodite hose connection complying with NEN 3374 Fire fighting equipment – Fire hose couplings and ancillary equipment or an FBT-Storz adaptor suitable for firefighting application as detailed in FRNSW compatible hose connections.
The Storz hose connection can be either forged aluminium or copper alloy. Cast aluminium hose connections are not premissible under any circumstance as they are not rated for firefighting pressures, and will need to be replaced with compliant Storz hose connections.
For fire protection installers and maintainers
Fire protection installers and maintainers must ensure only compliant hose connections are purchased and installed. Generally only firefighting equipment manufacturers produce Storz hose connections that meet the minimum required standards. It is important that only Storz fittings specifically designed, rated, and tested for firefighting application are fitted. Purchasing cheap low quality connections to minimise costs is likely to result in costly rectification works being ordered by a certifier or regulatory authority.
It should be noted that FBT is unique to NSW, and the FBT-Storz adaptor is produced exclusively for use with FRNSW equipment. FBT was based on the London 'V' thread and is not used by any other industry or for any other application, therefore all FBT-Storz adaptors should be of firefighting standard only. Unfortunately many FBT-Storz adaptors being sold in NSW do not meet any firefighting standard.
For manufacturers and suppliers
FRNSW use Storz hermaphrodite hose couplings manufactured to NEN 3374 Fire fighting equipment – Fire hose couplings and ancillary equipment. Storz hose connections, including FBT-Storz adaptors, are to be manufactured to this standard or equivalent.
Note: A simple letter of conformity from the manufacturer or supplier is not adequate; independent testing should be able to be provided.
Firefighting equipment manufactured under European standards (i.e. NEN 3374) are subject to independent certification under PED2014/68/EU, and tested to a standard such as DIN EN 12266 to validate its pressure rating (i.e. PN16). This inherently results in a higher quality certified product that is more expensive than a lower quality or uncertified alternative. Connections intended for low pressure industrial applications are not acceptable for firefighting use.
Certifiers should verify Storz hose connections are compliant before issuing any occupation certificate.
A professional body such as the Fire Protection Association Australia can assist with providing information on suppliers of compliant Storz hose connections that are produced from a reputable manufacturer. Generally, a compliant hose connection is identified by having a high quality machined finish relatively free of imperfections (e.g. chipped edges, soft dents/scratches evident, mottled finish, pocked or pitted appearance, matt lustre to machined surfaces instead of being shiny and dip-coated).
A compliant hose connection will also have a proper forging mark indicating that a registered forger has been used to temper the Storz hose connection to a certified temper process.
If a certifier has any hesitation, they should request documentation be provided from an independent testing body which is accredited for product certification. If doubts still remain, refer to FRNSW for further advice.
Hose connections on fire hydrant systems and fire sprinkler systems (Adobe, 1.6 mb pdf)
Public consultation documents
A Technical information sheet for inspecting hose connections is currently being drafted.