As a private citizen, you may never be called upon to use a fire hydrant yourself. After all, they are generally only used by workers specifically trained on them such as firefighters and other utility servicepeople. None the less, there are situations where a person might be called upon to use one in the case of a fire emergency. So, it can be useful to understand their operation!
Here’s a quick guide from our fire alarm monitoring team.
Need to Use A Fire Hydrant? Here’s How to Operate One Safely!
1 – Get permission
Private citizens are not normally allowed to open up a fire hydrant, and you could incur significant civil penalties if you do. Unless it’s a genuine emergency situation, you will need to contact City Hall or your local water authority and apply for a permit to use the hydrant – along with a good reason for doing so.
2 – Cordon off the area
You don’t want people wandering up and getting in the way when you’re working with a hydrant. They are safe, reliable devices – but when working with high-pressure water, you don’t want to take chances.
3 – Give the hydrant a shake
Is the hydrant firmly rooted in the ground? It should not move if you try to push or pull on it. If it feels loose in the ground, it’s unsafe and shouldn’t be used. (Report this to your city ASAP!)
4 – Attach a hose
Forget 1970s movies where people crack open fire hydrants for fun. The water will come out at 100MPH or more! That’s legitimately dangerous, and you need to have a hose attached before opening the valve. Fortunately, hydrants use standard Stortz connectors, so it’s relatively easy to obtain matching hoses.
5 – Open the valve slowly
Hydrants use a hexagonal valve and are almost always opened by slowly turning it counter-clockwise. Never open the valve quickly. Because of how much pressure the water is under, rapidly opening the valve can cause damage to the hydrant or nearby pipes – which could also damage you.
6 – Close it slowly too
Once you’re finished, close the valve as slowly as you opened it. Afterwards, wait for the water to fully evacuate the hose, so you can be certain you fully closed the valve.
Mijac Alarm Is A Leader Among Fire Alarm Monitoring Companies
We’re regularly ranked among the very best fire alarm monitoring companies in the country, and we can protect your home or business. Call us today!