All community Fire and Rescue Services have fire hydrant rules and regulations. Legal requirements relate most to their access to fire fighting dry riser appliances.
This section also explains the legal requirements for fire hydrant location and fire hydrant flow rate in the United Kingdom.
Does the UK have fire hydrants? Well, walk a few hundred metres from your home and you are most likely to see a fire hydrant sign [a small yellow 'H'].
Fire hydrant signs direct firefighters to the exact location of a water supply. This would be particularly important if something was obscuring the hydrant cover (e.g. foliage).
You will see two numbers displayed on all fire hydrant signage. The top number designates the size of the water main and the bottom number denotes its distance from the post.
Last time we checked:
All modern measurements (since the late 1970s in Britain) are now shown in Metric numerals (e.g. millimetres and metres).
Even so, you still might see some of the older signage still using Imperial measurements (e.g. feet and inches).
In fact, the changeover from Imperial to Metric is a continual process of replacement. Nonetheless, they all need checking and maintaining by professionals to comply with UK regulations on fire hydrants.
As part of local community safety, people living in private dwellings must provide the Fire Service with vehicular access to fire appliances (e.g. water hydrants and dry risers).
There should be vehicular access for a pumping appliance to within 45 metres of all points within the dwelling house.
Every elevation to which vehicle access would be provided should have a suitable door. It should not be less than 750 millimetres wide and it should give access to the interior of the building.
Our fire prevention guide contains essential advice, tips, and information about preventing house fires. You can also read about the perils of outdoor BBQs and the dangers of using candles in the home.
There should be vehicle access for a pumping appliance to blocks of flats or maisonettes to within 45 metres of all points within each dwelling.
Note: The access requirements for other buildings depends upon the total floor area and the height.
Interesting Fact: Mystery surrounds the original inventor of the first fire hydrant. Legend has it that its patent got destroyed in a fire!
In the United Kingdom, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Water UK National Guidance Document provides legal guidance.
The yellow 'H' image shows fire hydrant signs regulations for proximity and pipe diameter.
They provide the recommended fixture locations and minimum water flow rates.
UK fire hydrant regulations also govern installation in relation to the minimum distance from buildings and dwellings.
Note: Check out The UK Rules Pinterest section for a larger image and other pictures relating to health and safety.
The recommendation says any fire hydrant water supply infrastructure should provide a mains network on the site. As a rule this should be at least 150 millimetres nominal diameter:
Note: High risk areas may require a greater fire hydrant flow rate.
Minimum of twenty (20) liters/sec (1200 l/min) to 75 liters/sec (4500 l/min) depending on the nature and extent of the development.
Dry riser regulations state that a fire hydrant should be located at the entrance to the caravan site and if necessary, at three hundred (300) metre intervals. The hydrant should provide a minimum of 8 liters/sec (480 l/min).
If no piped water supply is available, or where there is insufficient pressure or flow in the water main, an alternative source must be provided.
Current Building Regulations require an adequate water supply for firefighting. A reasonable water supply must be available in circumstances where:
Note: The short video clip shows what hydrants are and why parking over them is dangerous. Failure to comply with the placement code according to fire hydrant regulations UK may prevent the applicant from obtaining a final certificate for building regulations.
Where no piped water supply is available, or there is insufficient pressure and flow in the water main, an alternative arrangement may be proposed as an acceptable open water supply.
This may be used in firefighting operations as the alternative water supply. Typical examples include:
Note: Fire hydrants legislation states suitable access, space and hard standing for a pumping appliance must be provided for all acceptable open water supplies.
The testing of fire hydrants (when located on private property) falls under the responsibility of the land or business owner.
Professional engineers would perform a visual inspection of the hydrant frame and the cover. They would also check the surface surrounding the hydrant - along with the 'H' plate.
It is important to remove any debris or vegetation that may have grown over the cover. The fire brigade must have easy, and unobstructed access, in any emergency situation.
A test carried out by a professional would involve an inspection of the outlet cap, valves, water pressure, and the water flow rate.
Important: The section on workplace fire safety provides further information on the responsibilities of a nominated 'responsible person' and the penalties for failing to follow the regulations.
UK Fire Hydrant Regulations and Dry Riser Requirements