Sep 22 2017

Fire Hydrant Obstructions

We all know that fire hydrants are essential to protecting lives and property. We also know that they are not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing parts of any neighborhood.

However, despite their utilitarian appearance, it is critical that we do not lose sight of their public safety purpose. This means that under no circumstance should fire hydrant access be restricted or the location concealed.

When it comes to fire hydrants please note that…

  • Fire hydrants are brightly painted to be easily identifiable during an emergency. Placing plants and other obstacles around hydrants defeats this purpose.
  • During an emergency, seconds count. Firefighters should not have to waste precious time clearing obstacles to access/utilize a fire hydrant.
  • Obstacles such as plants and rocks pose significant dangers to MUB maintenance staff. Animals, reptiles and insects are often attracted by these structures.
  • Plants and structures surrounding a fire hydrant slow maintenance and add to MUB overall operational costs.
  • Plants and structures impeding fire hydrant maintenance or use may be damaged by MUB staff in the process of their work. While MUB staff go out of their way to respect property, we can make no promises that damage will not occur. This is especially true during hydrant testing or use.
  • Over time, plants can damage fire hydrants and/or the pipes that provide water to the hydrants.

Remember, routine maintenance is necessary to ensure reliability of fire hydrants. Therefore, MUB staff need to access and service the hydrant much more often than the fire department. This is a continuous issue for MUB staff and not just episodic.

As always, our priority is on public safety. Assistance in helping us ensure that safety is tremendously appreciated. 

Below are examples of obstructed fire hydrants around the Morgantown area...