Help keep hydrants in your neighbourhood healthy
11 January 2021
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is on a mission to encourage the people of Kent and Medway to help keep hydrants healthy in their local area.
Located all over the county, fire hydrants provide firefighters with access to a steady flow of water to fight fires. They are used by crews whenever they need more water than they’re able to carry on fire engines, and can be a vital asset for firefighters. However, if they’re ever damaged or obscured, it could waste valuable minutes for crews potentially saving lives and property.
The fire service is now encouraging the public to keep an eye out for hydrants when they’re out exercising or making essential journeys*, and to report any issues which could impact hydrant health. Then, any faults can be fixed quickly and safely by a KFRS water technician or passed to the local Water Company for action.
Steven Lewis, Resilience Manager at KFRS, said: “There are almost 30,000 hydrants located across Kent and Medway, and therefore thousands of residents have hydrants located near their homes and businesses. To have people keeping an eye out for hydrants, and letting us know whenever they spot an issue with one, means that any potential faults that haven’t yet been picked up can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
“In addition to our crews who regularly check hydrants in their station area, we also have specially trained hydrant technicians within our dedicated water services team. But, it would be fantastic if residents would like to get involved too and help us keep hydrants healthy while they’re out enjoying daily exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown, and beyond.”
Hydrants can be found by looking for a yellow ‘H’, usually on pavements, lampposts, or fences. They are positioned in the ground, under an inspection chamber, normally marked with the wording ‘Fire Hydrant’, ‘FH, or ‘WO’ – which stands for ‘washout’.
Please note that hydrant covers should only ever be lifted by trained professionals, unless in an emergency.
Issues that people can look out for and report to KFRS, include:
- Obstructions over hydrants, such as vegetation
- Vehicles parked over the inspection chamber
- Leaking hydrants
- Hydrant lids which are broken or protruding above the ground
Please ensure you only check hydrants in a safe location, on the pavement, away from any public roads. If your child is outside, near the road, you should also make sure they are accompanied by an adult. Watch the full video above for more details on what to look out for and what sort of issues should be reported to the fire service online, where photos can also be uploaded to help explain the issue that has been identified.
*in-line with current government guidance.