How to Use a Fire Hydrant. Many different kinds of people need the use of fire hydrants on a daily basis. Contractors, street cleaners and emergency response teams such as firefighters use the high pressure water outlets for a number of different purposes. Despite this, a fire hydrant is a dangerous and expensive piece of equipment. So, follow these steps to properly use a fire hydrant.
Get a permit. Nearly all cities, towns and counties require that you obtain a permit in order to use a fire hydrant. You can apply for a permit from your city's municipality or water and sewer authority. Make sure to apply for the permit well in advance of the date you need to use the hydrant.
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Ensure safety. Fire hydrants shoot out water at over 100 MPH, making the need for safety absolute. First, rope off the area around the hydrant so people don't stray into its path. Then check the fire hydrant. You should feel it to make sure it is rigid, immovable and doesn't have loose or faulty parts.
Open the hydrant. Identify the opening valve and use the special, pentagonal hydrant tool to open the fire hydrant's valve. Generally, fire hydrant valves need to be turned counter clockwise to open. It is crucial that you open the valve slowly and fully. Opening the valve partially can cause serious damage to the fire hydrant and carries a risk of injury to you and to bystanders.
Close the fire hydrant slowly and completely. To close the fire hydrant, use the pentagon shaped socket and turn clockwise. Close the fire hydrant's valve slowly and make sure that you close it completely. Keep an eye on the fire hydrant for a minute to make sure that water stops flowing from all parts of the device before you leave.