There are over 30,000 fire hydrants in the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area, providing emergency access to mains water for firefighting purposes.
Hydrants are installed in underground chambers, situated below pit covers (some of which are painted yellow). They are identified by yellow marker plates which display their location and size of the water main. A standpipe is needed to access the water supply and turn it on, rather like a tap.
The Service has a team of hydrant technicians who are responsible for the inspection and maintenance programme. This includes defecting and repairing our fire hydrants. Their work also includes consulting with the water undertakers, planning the installation of new hydrants and water mains.
Behind the scenes, we have a hydrant database which updates the mapping software used in Fire Control and the mobile data terminals on fire appliances.
Know the law
It is illegal to use a fire hydrant to obtain water for purposes other than firefighting, unless authorised by the water authority or other person to whom the hydrant belongs. Persons found to be using fire hydrants without the appropriate authorisation are liable to prosecution by the water undertaker.
Think before you park
In the event of fire, it can be paramount that firefighters have access to water supplies quickly. Obstruction of fire hydrants, particularly inconsiderate parking, could place the lives of you, your family and your neighbours at risk.
A person commits an offence if they damage or obstruct a fire hydrant, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500 (Fire and Rescue Services Act Section 42).
The vehicle obstructing the fire hydrant may not be insured against any damage caused by the Fire and Rescue Service whilst gaining access to the required water supply.
Contact us or report a defect
We encourage contact from the general public in relation to problems or enquiries about fire hydrants.
If you witness illegal use or would like to report an issue with a fire hydrant, please click here for our on-line report form.