Fire hydrants have been fixtures in American communities for over two centuries. They are easily recognizable, and their existence is crucial to a firefighter’s ability to successfully put out a fire. As of 2018 there were over 9 million fire hydrants in the United States. Each of those fire hydrants needs to be installed, inspected, maintained, and repaired in order for the hydrant to do its job of saving lives and personal property. Since 1988, A Total Solution has been the answer for all of the Tampa Bay area’s fire hydrant needs. From installations and maintenance to repairs and inspections, A Total Solution has the dedication and experience necessary to ensure a smooth process for all of their customers.
Installing a Fire Hydrant
Installing fire hydrants is not a simple DIY project. There are severe consequences if your hydrant is improperly installed and malfunctions at the key moment in an emergency when you need it most. The first step to successful installation is hiring the right team to get the job done. Once your contracted ATS to handle your installation, they will work with you to determine the proper fire hydrant for your immediate needs. Hydrants have color coded bonnets (tops). A variety of colors are used around the country to alert firefighters to the water flow capabilities of a particular hydrant. Blue bonnets have the highest water flow output per minute, 1500 gallons or more. The stereotypical red hydrant tells firefighters that this particular hydrant only has an output of 500 gallons or less per minute.
Once your hydrant has been ordered, your ATS technician will ensure that that hydrant you have ordered has been delivered without any damage. Once all of the components have been confirmed operational, your technicians will coordinate the installation with local municipalities to gain proper access to the local water mains. As recognizable as hydrants are, most of the functioning components reside underground. Because of this it is important that the hydrant is installed with concrete stabilizers to support the area. This housing provides shelter for essential components like the hydrant gate valves. These valves protect the water main from backflow issues and provides an emergency shut off access incase issues arise. Much like sprinkler systems in other fire suppression systems, hydrant backflow is a potential danger to a community’s potable water source. Fire hydrants also need to be installed a specific two feet of distance away from curbs. The area surrounding the hydrant must be free of debris
We Specialize in Fire Hydrant Inspections
Since fire hydrants are critical life saving devices, unsurprisingly, they must be regularly inspected. It is recommended, fire hydrants be inspected annually to ensure there has been no damage from general wear and tear and to confirm all components not worn and are working optimally. Depending on the location of the fire hydrant, especially for fire hydrants not in a consistently warm climate like Tampa Bay, fire hydrants should undergo more frequent inspections in the fall and spring to confirm season changes have not adversely affected any components.
During the fire hydrant inspection the inspector will be conducting water flow readings, flushing the line, cleaning the hydrant and reporting any worn components or malfunctions. Water flow tests are a requirement during these inspections. This is achieved by fully opening the valve and letting the water flow for no less than one fully minute. Not only does this allow the inspector to monitor the quality of the flow, it also forces out any foreign materials that may have built up from a lack of use since the last inspection. Should any component be deemed malfunctioning during an inspection, the fire hydrant must be
These key inspections are governed by a series of federal, state, and municipal rules. While federal regulations may state that inspections should occur every five years, state rules have different requirements. The state of Florida provides for quarterly, annual, three year and five year inspections. Utilizing an experienced company like ATS to navigate through the inspection requirements allows you to rest easy knowing certified technicians are ensuring your compliance with all of the extensive rules and regulations. Once the inspection is complete, make sure to retain your inspection records should an unfortunate emergency occurs that involves the local Fire Marshall.
Ongoing Maintenance and Repairs
Once the fire hydrant is installed and it has cleared any initial inspections, it is imperative that the hydrant be consistently maintained with all repairs made immediately. One can never know when an emergency is going to occur, so it is always best practice to ensure your fire suppression systems are fully functional and operational for when you do need them. Because it is a central figure in every fire emergency, the fire hydrant is no exception. Remaining proactive with repairs ensures your safety, the safety of your employees and the safety of your family.
ATS is a one stop shop for all of your fire hydrant maintenance and repair needs. Once installation occurs, ATS’ technicians will take the worry out of maintenance and repairs by immediately setting you up with an inspection and maintenance plan. There is no need to worry about scheduling appointments or forgetting to do proper maintenance. By taking the guesswork out of proper maintenance schedules, ATS ensures you and your personal property are protected.
ATS is ready get you started with your fire hydrant. Contact us today to speak with an expert technician regarding installation, inspections, maintenance and repairs.