Fire Hydrant Test Guidance

To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005 (Article 17) and the University Fire Policy, all Private Hydrants shall be tested annually (as agreed with the Facilities Management) This advisory note is to assist with the locations and provisions of private fire hydrants located within Loughborough University.

Provisions and Locations of Private Hydrants

Fire hydrants assist fire fighters by providing a continuous supply of water fed from the town mains rather than using the fire appliance, which have only a limited supply of water. As opposed to public hydrants, private fire hydrants will be located within private property.

The University has a number of private fire hydrants within its grounds. These private hydrants within the University require a system of maintenance and monitoring to ensure they remain in good working order and should be incorporated into the PPM system.

There are two types of fire hydrant: the pillar fire hydrant that is vertical component projecting above ground level with an outlet connection, or the most common type: underground fire hydrant, which is contained in a pit or box below ground level.

Private fire hydrants should be located not more than 90 meters away from any entry point to the relevant building and not more than a space of 90 meters between hydrants.

Fire hydrants should be located no closer than 6 meters from the building to protect fire fighters in an incident from falling debris etc. Fire hydrants should be located in such a way that parking, loading and unloading of vehicles is unlikely to obstruct them.

The location of underground fire hydrants in roadways should be in accordance with the current version of BS 750 and the frame and cover must be capable of bearing the weight of the heaviest vehicle anticipated on that roadway.

Signs for fire hydrants are located on the cover and should say ‘FIRE HYDRANT’ in letters not less than 30mm high or ‘H’ in letters not less than 75mm high, cast into the cover.

Test Procedures and Records

The Universities Facilities Management should ensure maintenance of private fire hydrants, in accordance with current BS 9990:2015 and BS9999-2017 ‘Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings – Code of practice’

Inspection of and, where practicable, a wet test of private underground fire hydrants should be made.

Where such hydrants are supplied from mains, arrangements should also be made with the water company undertaking before tests are carried out.

Hydrants shall have a design life of a minimum of 50 years. This shall be determined by reference to:

  • The materials used in the construction and their properties
  • The engineering design of the hydrant
  • The normal situation of installation
  • The conditions of use.

During the inspection and tests the condition of the following should be checked and noted for remedial action if necessary:

  • Pits
  • Frames
  • Covers
  • Surface paving round edges of frames
  • Depth of outlet below the frame, which should be no more than 300mm below ground level
  • Method of indication by means of hydrant indicator plate or sticker

Appropriate records of inspections and tests of private fire hydrants should be kept and should record the following information:

  • Date and time for the inspection or test
  • Person carrying out the test
  • Test results should be noted
  • Any external factors significantly affecting the test (weather)
  • Any follow up action required
  • Work carried out as a result of the point above including date, time, and result of the re-test

The test should include flushing out the outlet and checking the outlet connection. The flow and pressure test at the outlet should also be measured and noted.

On completion of the test, operation of the frost valve (where fitted) should be checked, and the pit should be empty and clean.