Frequently Asked Fire Hydrant Questions

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1) Who is responsible for the fire hydrants in my neighborhood?
The utility company that owns the hydrant is legally responsible for maintaining it. Most fire departments, including Marion County Fire Rescue, do not own or install hydrants.

FireHydrant_32) Who is responsible for fixing or painting the fire hydrants in my area?
The utility company or hydrant owner is responsible for all maintenance (including painting) and repairs and of the fire hydrants.

3) Who do I call if a hydrant is leaking?
You should call the utility company that owns the hydrant.

4) How often are my fire hydrants tested?
Although testing fire hydrants is the responsibility of the utility or hydrant owner, MCFR has implemented an aggressive program to test hydrants once a year. This program enables MCFR to ensure operational readiness and reduce ISO (Insurance Services Office) ratings. Many insurance companies use ISO ratings, based on a scale from one to 10 with one being best, when determining fire insurance premiums.

5) What colors are hydrants typically painted?
Most fire hydrants are painted red for easy identification. However, private utilities or hydrant owners may paint hydrants yellow to distinguish them from other systems. Click Here for more information on hydrant painting.

6) How are fire hydrants identified by MCFR?
MCFR places a metal tag on each hydrant for identification. This metal tag corresponds to a numeric identification used to capture data about the hydrant.

7) When is the last time MCFR tested my fire hydrant?
Click Here for information about hydrant testing.

8) How does MCFR test fire hydrants?
MCFR tests hydrants in accordance with the recommended practices from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Insurance Services Office. Firefighters perform a full flow profile test every five years to measure the capacity of the hydrant. But during years two, three, four and five, crews also conduct a modified pressure test to measure water flow and check for leaks.

9) If my insurance company needs a letter from the fire department to write my insurance policy, who can I call?
Call Marion County Fire Rescue during normal business hours at (352) 291-8000. Our friendly staff will fax or mail a letter to your insurance company describing how many fire engines and firefighters will respond to your house in the event of a fire emergency.


10) Will the fire department measure the distance from my house to the nearest fire hydrant?
Sorry, we can't pull emergency units out of service to measure distances. However, our interactive on-line hydrant locator may help. Click Here to learn more.

11) Are the fire hydrant addresses the exact location of each hydrant?
MCFR uses the closest address or intersection to identify each hydrant. Due to new construction, some hydrants are only assigned to the road itself. The hydrant address is an approximation.

12) Why doesn't my neighborhood have fire hydrants?
Fire codes did not originally require developers to install fire hydrants, but that has now changed. New developments must include hydrants connected to large diameter water mains. In contrast, many older neighborhoods are served by septic tanks and well water with no water mains nearby. The cost to install water mains throughout the county is not doable because of the cost.

13) If I have no fire hydrants nearby, how do firefighters extinguish a fire at my home?
MCFR's class-A fire engines carry a minimum of 750 gallons each. When a house fire occurs, the three closest fire engines immediately respond simultaneously with trained firefighters. In areas with no hydrants, a large tanker truck that carries 2,500 to 5,000 gallons of water will also respond. Many fires, if immediately reported to 9-1-1, are extinguished with less than 500 gallons of water.
Contact MCFR Headquarters at (352) 291-8000, if you have additional questions.