Getting Those Fire Hydrant Sprinkler Caps

Posted on: July 17th, 2018 at 5:09 am by

It’s hot as fuck out there. So tempting to bust open that fire hydrant like this guy did on Eldridge Street.

However, like clockwork, the fire department each summer warns city dwellers against uncapping fire hydrants for relief.

While the ensuing torrent is fun, doing so is illegal. The penalty is up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. This steep penalty is a result of the sheer water waste (roughly 1,000 gallons per minute) and pressure drop caused for other fire hydrants in the vicinity (which can affect firefighting).

The solution is a spray cap the limits the water to a sprinkler-like flow. Anyone over the age of 18 can request installation by frequenting the local firehouse and completing a form. Firefighters then swap the cap and it’s ready for play. Spray caps reduce the amount of water coming out of the hydrant to 25 gallons per minute, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

What you might not know is that there’s a dedicated team organized to “educate communities about the dangers of opening fire hydrants illegally during the summer months.” The Hydrant Education Action Team (HEAT) Program, sponsored by DEP, was created in 2007.

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