Fire hydrants have been used to help put out fires for more than 100 years. They are a convenient source of water that firefighters can tap into in order to put out fires as quickly as possible. Imagine a situation where a firefighter plugs into a fire hydrant to find that it is not in working condition. The result would be catastrophic. Fire hydrant testing is vitally important to ensure that hydrants are properly maintained and ready to be used at all times.
Determining Who Is Responsible for Maintenance
Most fire hydrants are in public spaces. These public hydrants are typically checked on a regular basis by the county. Records are kept showing that each public fire hydrant has been serviced each year. There are also fire hydrants located on private properties, where it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure those fire hydrants are properly maintained. These private fire hydrants are the ones that often go unchecked and have the biggest potential for failure in times of need.
Caring for Private Hydrants
It is important to have experience in testing fire hydrants to do routine maintenance on them. An inexperienced person may not close the unit all the way after testing, leaving the hydrant with a leak. Using incorrect tools can cause the caps to get stuck and make it very difficult to access the hydrant in an emergency. It is common for those individuals in possession of a private fire hydrant to contract an outside agency to ensure the work is done correctly and to maintain the integrity of the hydrant.
A Matter of Public Safety
Whether they are private or public, fire hydrants play a critical role in public safety. A working fire hydrant could make a huge difference in the time it takes firefighters to put out a fire, save lives and salvage valuable personal belongings. No one can ever predict a fire, but hopefully the nearest fire hydrant has been well maintained and is ready to help extinguish the fire as quickly as possible when needed.