Fire hydrants are a vital part of fire safety. They are usually located in a chamber under the surface of a road or path. In the event of a fire a hydrant provides a continuous supply of water from the mains supply. This means that firefighters do not have to rely on a fire engines limited water supply.
Fire hydrants on public footpaths and roads are owned and maintained by water companies and local authorities, but they can also be found on private land such as hospitals, university campuses, retail sites and large warehouses. If you have fire hydrants on your property fire hydrant testing and maintenance is your responsibility.
Find out more about the fire hydrant testing requirements in the UK below.
Why is Fire Hydrant Testing needed?
Fire hydrants are an integral party of fire safety, giving the fire brigade access to water to fight fires. If fire hydrants are not regularly tested and maintained, they could pose a risk to life. Defects affecting the ability of fire hydrants to deliver water for fire-fighting purposes can be discovered through testing, thus ensuring they function correctly in an emergency. Problems could include leaks and valves that don’t operate properly. It is important they are discovered and repaired before the hydrant is needed.
Fire Hydrants help save lives. It is the responsibility of a building owner to keep fire hydrants on their land in good working order. You could be prosecuted if they have not been regularly tested and inspected in accordance with the relevant standards.
How often do Fire Hydrants need to be tested?
If you have fire hydrants on your premises, annual maintenance, inspection and servicing is a legal requirement. Underground fire hydrants need regular maintenance and inspection in accordance with British Standard BS9990. Fire hydrant testing should be done annually to ensure they have the right water pressure and flow rate. We recommend a twice-yearly inspection to ensure everything is working correctly.
How do you test a fire hydrant?
There are several tests we carry out to ensure that your fire hydrant is functioning correctly. We check above the ground first. This involves a visual inspection of the fire hydrant frame and cover. We also check the surface surrounding the hydrant and the fire hydrant indicator plate. It is vital that any debris is removed from around the hydrant to allow the fire brigade to access it easily in an emergency. Below ground we visually inspect the hydrant chamber and the hydrant itself. All defects are reported immediately.
We complete a Wet Pressure Test which involves fitting a standpipe to the outlet and then partially opening the valve to allow a small amount of water to flow through to check all is working correctly. We then pressure test the fire hydrant to find signs of leakage that might affect the ability of the hydrant to provide water in an emergency.
We use specialist equipment to undertake a Static Pressure Test which checks that water is dispensing from the system with the correct amount of pressure and a Flow Test which checks that an adequate volume of water is released from the system when required.
Find out more on our Fire Hydrant Testing page.
How can Equiptest help you?
Our fire hydrant examination and testing service is in operation throughout the UK. We ensure that hydrants are monitored, and legislative requirements are met. Our regular testing and maintenance can help bring about a significant reduction in costs due to a reduction in repairs. Our fire hydrant testing dramatically reduces the risk of contamination and interruption to water supplies. By maintaining and repairing fire hydrants we can help the Fire Brigade use their resources towards more proactive preventative duties.
Contact Us to find out more.