Fire hydrants are an important water source that firefighters depend on in emergencies. Connected to pipes full of water, they are used when deadly fires strike. You may be wondering: How do fire hydrants work exactly? Do firefighters not carry any water with them?
Firefighters do have water tanks, but usually not enough to put out a fire. They will look for fire hydrant locations when they come upon a fire scene, as they will need the extra water to fight the fire. The firefighter will use a wrench to remove the valve cover, and then attach their hose to the valves. They can then open a valve that will cause the water to start flowing. Fire hydrants normally supply a large amount of water, which then travels to the firetruck, becomes pressurized, and flows out of their hoses. Common today are “dry-barrel” designs, which use a valve located underground, underneath the freeze line. This prevents the hydrant from freezing in cold temperatures.
Fire Hydrant Safety
There are important safety regulations surrounding hydrant locations, as they must remain operable and dependable during emergencies. They require a 3-foot radiance around them to be clear, and it is not legal to park in front of them. In times of extreme weather, like snow, the fire hydrant markers need to be kept cleaned off. If you notice water or debris covering it, make sure to wipe it off. If a fire sprinkler is on your property and you want to plant anything around it, just ensure that it doesn’t hide the system. Firefighters must be able to spot the nearest fire hydrant sprinkler quickly in an emergency.
Fire Hydrant Installation & Maintenance
Regular fire hydrant testing and maintenance are essential to neighborhood safety. If your NFPA fire hydrant is not functional, it will be of no help in a fire. Here at Safe-T Fire Protection, we conduct thorough fire hydrant testing to ensure that it’s in top condition. Fire hydrant inspections are required by NFPA once a year. The water pressure needs to be tested, so it can be determined that it will be strong enough for a fire. Inspections usually include:
- Checking flow and pressure
- Testing reliability
- Lubricating parts
- Reviewing location
- Cleaning/ flushing out water
- Inspecting for leaks or cracks
Safe-T Fire Protection is a family-owned, local fire protection company that provides fire hydrant testing, installation, and repairs with our team of friendly professionals. We will point out the best suppliers and ensure your hydrant is up to code. Contact us today for more information, so you can rest assured that your fire protection equipment will be dependable during emergencies.
Why are fire hydrants different colors?
Fire hydrant colors signify how much water the hydrant can hold. A red hydrant is Class C, which contains 500 gallons per minute (GPM). An orange hydrant is Class B, with at least 1000 GPM. A green hydrant is Class A, which can release 1500 GPM. Blue is Class AA, which is more than 1500 GPM.
Are fire hydrants public or private property?
This depends on the location of the fire hydrant. If it’s on public property, it’s owned by the city or town that it’s located in. The city is then responsible for inspecting and maintaining it. If the fire hydrant is on a private lot, it’s considered private property. The property owner is then responsible for scheduling inspections and maintaining it.
Why is fire hydrant flow tested?
During testing, the fire department can determine that the valves are operating properly, that there are no leaks, that the water pressure is strong, and can check the number of gallons per minute. Testing the flow of a hydrant hose will extend the life of water mains and improve water quality. Our team conducts fire hydrant flow tests!
How can I find the closest fire hydrant to me?
In residential neighborhoods, fire hydrant markings are generally located at 500-foot intervals. If you can’t find the nearest hydrant, you can contact your nearest fire station or give us a call here at Safe-T!