Fire hydrants are one of the most important tools firefighters utilize during fire fighting operations. It is imperative that they are well maintained by semi-annual inspections. During these inspections, fire crews will be performing the following checks:
• Verify location
• Check for obstructions
• Proper height above grade
• Orientation to roadway
• Any damage from vehicle strikes
• Operating nut in good condition
• Missing caps
• 360° clearance radius of 36″
• Remove any chains
• Flush hydrant*
• Check for leaking
Once the hydrant passes inspection, the top operating nut will be painted orange (paint color will change with each inspection cycle) and the nearby water valve may be painted blue as well for easy identification. If the hydrant fails inspection for any reason crews will place an “out of service” or “OOS” tag or orange “Not in service” bag on it so repairs can be made. If the hydrant near you is “OOS”, you can be rest assured a working hydrant is nearby.
The water may become discolored in an area due to emergency situations such as a fire or water main break. During these events the flow in the water system is increased which may cause minerals which have accumulated in the pipes to become dislodged. One of the minerals is iron which causes the water to appear yellow to dark brown. If this should happen, give the water system time to settle down, check the water every half hour by running some in the bath tub. If it still appears to be discolored do not use it to wash laundry. If you were doing laundry when the water became discolored – Do Not Dry the laundry – leave it wet and purchase a product such as Iron-Out or Rust-Out in the laundry section of the grocery store. Source: Montgomery County Ohio Water Department
What are those occasional blue reflector lights that are “glued” to the streets?
Frequently, streets are marked with amber reflectors. They look like bicycle reflectors that are glued to the street. With recent road improvements, these same types of reflectors have been replaced with blue versions. Not all amber reflectors have been replaced with blue, only near fire hydrants. Often, landscaping or other obstructions obscure hydrants and, particularly at night, the fire engine’s headlights pick up the blue lights and they instantly locate the hydrants. This action will aid firefighters in locating hydrants when seconds count. As road improvements are made, blue reflectors will likely be installed.
If you have any question regarding City of Kettering fire hydrants, please call Kettering Fire Headquarters.
Fire HQ | 4745 Hempstead Station Drive Kettering Ohio 45429 | 937-296-2489