What are the benefits of fire hydrants

Fire and water - but where from?
Fire and water - but where from?

For most fires, water is the best extinguishing agent. It is cheap, non-toxic, available almost everywhere, and easy to transport. But where does the fire brigade get their water from?


- A special type of fire-fighting vehicle are tankers. As the name suggests, there is a water tank on the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle type, this can usually hold between 600 and 5000 liters. In Neunkirchen there are two vehicles with a capacity of 2,500 liters each. One of these vehicles, the TLF from 1963, is therefore still in use. But these tank fillings are usually only enough for 3-4 minutes, until then another water supply has to be built up. On the one hand, suction can be made from open bodies of water or fire ponds or, on the other hand, a hydrant can be used.

What are hydrants?

Hydrants are water withdrawal points from the pipeline system of the waterworks. They are particularly important for fighting fires within the locations, as open waters are usually too far away. There are two basic types of hydrants, underground and surface hydrants.

Surface hydrants

Surface hydrants are, as the name suggests, above ground, about 1 m high and mostly painted red. To extract water from them, all you have to do is remove the protective couplings and connect the hoses. A standpipe, as with the underground hydrant, is not required. The hydrant and the protective caps are opened with the overground hydrant key. Since the overground hydrants are much more expensive than the underground hydrants, they are usually only found at special danger points.

Underground hydrants

There are around 300 underground hydrants in Neunkirchen alone. They lie on the earth's surface and are difficult to see.

This is what underground hydrants look like on the street or sidewalk.

Disadvantages of underground hydrants are that they can freeze over when there is frost, be parked in by cars or cannot be found due to vegetation, snow or other things. For this reason, underground hydrants are marked with white signs with a red border. These so-called hydrant signs show the distance to the hydrant and the diameter of the pipeline.


Example: This hydrant would be 6.10m in front of the sign and 1.20m to the right of it. The line has a diameter of 8 cm, which means about 800 l / min for the fire brigade. An underground hydrant key is required to open the underground hydrant and a standpipe is required to draw off water.

How can you help us?

Quite simply, take care of "your" hydrant, in front of your front door, in your street. Because it mainly serves your safety. In winter, make sure that it is free of snow and ice, that it is not parked by drivers (which is even forbidden and can be punished). In summer, make sure that it does not overgrow, dirty or obstructed with other things. Report obvious damage to your fire department or the community. Because should we, for whatever reason, not be able to use a hydrant, we have to switch to another. This costs a lot of time, which could possibly cost you your life.

We are happy to answer any further questions.