Fire hydrants are something everybody is aware of. You probably walk or drive past a dozen fire hydrants a day—but how much do you really know about them? Most people know they dispense water when there’s a fire emergency, but few people know much else other than that. Examine these fire hydrant facts you need to know.
Fire Hydrants are Iron
While it’s simple to tell from a glance that fire hydrants are made of some form of metal, most are made from cast iron. When fire hydrants are not made of cast iron, ductile iron is the next most likely material. Both irons are corrosion resistant and robust.
Most fire hydrant designs include a break-away feature because of the proximity to the street and likelihood of being struck by a car. This isn’t to minimize damage to a car, but to prevent the water main the hydrant is connected to from breaking.
Fire Hydrants Can Move
While fire hydrants can’t get up and walk around, they can be moved through a major construction project. This is a dangerous process that should only be done when necessary and handled by experts. Here are some reasons one may choose to move a fire hydrant:
- A new building is built.
- The old location is no longer up to code.
- It’s in the way of a new development.
The Color Matters
While it’s not always the case, many municipalities choose the color of their fire hydrants to communicate how many gallons per minute (GPM) of water that hydrant is able to deliver. This helps fire fighters to decide which hydrants are best to use in the case of a large fire: the more GPM, the better the hydrant can fight a large fire.
Red and yellow hydrants are the most common colors because they’re easy to see and stand out from other colors in most landscapes.
Fire hydrants are a really cool part of modern society and they work to protect us every day. These are just a few fire hydrant facts you need to know.