Good Question: Does the color of the fire hydrant mean anything?

Does the color of the fire hydrant mean anything? (Photo: KUTV)

Have you ever noticed that fire hydrants come in different colors? 2Nnews viewer Kathy Worley did, and she wonders, do those different colors mean anything?

In fact, Salt Lake City fire department spokesperson Audra Sorensen said the colors of hydrants play a critical role in calculating how best to fight a fires.

"You can tell what kind of water is available from a fire hydrant based on the color of the top of that hydrant," she said.

While hydrants themselves are fairly standard, how much water a hydrant can put out varies wildly - thus the colors. A hydrant with a red top is the worst, followed by orange, then green and blue indicates the most water available.

In their training, firefighters learn to do quick calculations when they arrive on a scene. A single red top might be just fine for extinguishing a small house or car fire whereas a big apartment complex would require more water. That means math.

Sorensen said she thinks many people may underestimate what goes in to fighting a fire.

"Firefighters have to get there. They have to assess the scene. They have to know how much water is going to come though and how many people they've got going and how long it's going to take. It's a lot of quick thinking," she said.

And now we know why fire hydrants come in different hues.

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