Fire hydrants spend most of their time unused, yet they are relied upon in a moment’s notice to provide fire flow for the protection of a business or home. They are an indispensable facet of the overall fire protection service. A fire engine can only carry a limited amount of water, so it is vitally important for Firefighters to be able to hook the fire engines to the hydrants to supply them with enough water to fight the fire. Fire engines also have a pump that gives the water from the hydrant enough pressure to fill the hoses and helps the firefighters reach the seat of the fire.
The Cahaba Valley Fire District has over 600 public fire hydrants. These hydrants are maintained by Shelby County Water Services and the Birmingham Water Works, however you may see our Firefighters out doing inspections on the fire hydrants to ensure that each one is operational.
If you have a hydrant on your property, it is required to keep a 3 foot clearance around the hydrant and maintain a clear view from the roadway as to not hinder the accessibility during an emergency (this includes vegetation, landscaping and other items). Never tamper with or allow children to play with or on fire hydrants. Time is very important when fighting a fire; if inlet covers are jammed or damaged, they cannot be accessed quickly. Never park in front of a fire hydrant. It is illegal and can result in a costly fine.
Have you ever wondered what the blue reflectors were on the roadways or why our hydrants are painted yellow instead of red?
- The blue reflectors in the middle of the roads are markers that are strategically placed directly across from a hydrant. These markers help the emergency personnel find the hydrant in a timely manner during an emergency situation. The next time you see a blue reflector, look to the side of the road and you will spot a fire hydrant.
- The fire hydrants are painted ‘Safety Yellow’ to help the emergency personnel spot them at night. The white hydrants stand out better at night than red fire hydrants.