Fire hydrants can be a critical resource for putting out a fire at your location. However, for hydrants to do their job, they need regular maintenance. Consider including these four fire hydrant maintenance tips in your maintenance plan.
1. Inspect Annually
Fire hydrants should be inspected at least once per year. A fire hydrant flow test should be conducted as part of this inspection to ensure that your hydrant has adequate water flow and pressure to perform its function. You should also check the main valve for leakage, inspect and lube the operating stem, inspect the flanges, flush the drain outlets, and inspect, lube and replace any other parts as needed to fix leaks or remove obstructions. You may be able to get a lower ISO rating by inspecting every six-months, rather than just once a year.
2. Maintain Clearance
There should always be at least six feet of clearance on all sides of your fire hydrant. You should regularly inspect the area around your hydrant for plant growth or debris that may obstruct access and remove it. You should also ensure that people are not parking their vehicles around your hydrant.
3. Remove Snow and Check for Freezing
In the wintertime, fire hydrants are at risk for freezing. A frozen hydrant may not function at all or may develop leaks or other problems. If your hydrant is located in an area with cold winters, you may need to purchase a freeze-resistant hydrant. Additionally, fallen snow can block access to your hydrant or cover it completely, making it more difficult for firefighters to find. You should remove all snow from your hydrant after every major snowfall event.
4. Paint Your Hydrant
Paint on a fire hydrant is not just for looks. It helps the fire department find your hydrant in an emergency and also makes the hydrant more visible to motorists, cyclists and others who may be at risk of colliding with it. Environmental exposure can wear down the paint on your hydrant, causing it to fade and be more difficult to see. Painting your hydrant regularly can help ensure that your hydrant remains easily visible.
Regularly maintaining your fire hydrant can help ensure that it is ready to function when you need it most. These four maintenance tips can help keep your hydrant in good condition. Consult your local fire prevention specialists if you have additional questions about proper hydrant maintenance.