Fire Hydrants: Can I install one on my property?


Wildfires are becoming a more common occurrence which is a terrifying thought for many people, especially for those in high-risk areas. If you have ever survived a house fire or fear that you are at risk you may be wondering if you can install a fire hydrant on your property.

Fire hydrants can be installed on private properties under some circumstances. Certain requirements and factors can affect whether or not you can have one installed such as: 

  • The location of the nearest existing hydrant
  • Local zoning regulations
  • Proximity to established water mains 
  • High application and installation costs 

To learn more about how you can get a fire hydrant installed on your property and other helpful information continue reading. 

Private Fire Hydrant Installation – What You Need to Know

There are a few reasons why an individual may want to have a fire hydrant installed on their property the most common reasons being:

  • New residential or commercial construction 
  • Possible insurance discounts 
  • Increased fire protection
  • Increase property resale value of the property

Regardless of why you wish to have a fire hydrant installed on your property, certain measures and procedures must be taken before you randomly place a hydrant in a place that you think will work. 

The following section will discuss the most common steps that need to be taken to see if you are able to have a fire hydrant installed on your property. 

Requesting New Hydrant Installation

The process may vary slightly depending upon the region in which you live however the following steps are generally required if you wish to have a fire hydrant installed on your property. 

Contact your local fire department and/or water company to find out if your location is within the proper codes to have a hydrant installed. 

They will likely check to see where the nearest fire hydrant is located in proximity to your property. They will also need to see if your property is within their jurisdiction and if the water supply system can support having a fire hydrant added to it. 

Also, I wrote an entire article on whether it is safe to drink hydrant water. Click the link to check it out.

Additionally the individual requesting to have a fire hydrant installed will need to fill out the appropriate forms which are generally referred to as Facility Improvement Letter or FIL. 

In conjunction with the FIL, you will likely be required to have a licensed civil engineer complete or at the very minimum sign off on the plans for where the fire hydrant is being proposed to be located. 

In most cases, driveways or easements to the hydrant location must be clear and ready when the proposal is submitted so they can be inspected. 

Reasons Why Your New Hydrant Request May Be Denied

  • The water main is not large enough to support another hydrant
  • The water main is not located near the proposed hydrant area
  • There are plenty of other hydrants in the area 
  • You did not have a civil engineer sign off on the proposed plans

Cost of Having a Private Fire Hydrant Installed 

It is not very common for individuals to install a fire hydrant on their properties so you may not have any idea as to what it costs to have one installed. 

There are many costs associated with installing a private fire hydrant that you may not consider such as: 

  • Hiring a civil engineering and contracting team to design and prepare the area where the hydrant is meant to be installed
  • Filing fees for applications and permits to have a fire hydrant installed on your property 
  • Final inspection costs
  • Annual maintenance 

When it is all said and done, having a fire hydrant installed on your property can cost approximately $3,000-$7,000. 

Depending upon your area this number may be less; either way, it is a process that requires more thought than you may have originally considered but can be a worthwhile investment. 

Wondering if you can paint a fire hydrant on your property? I wrote an entire article on whether you can legally paint a fire hydrant. Click the link to check it out.

Can You Move An Existing Fire Hydrant? 

What if you already have a fire hydrant on your property and you hate its location? You may be wondering if you are allowed to move them or if it has to stay. This is one of those situations where it will be based on a case-by-case situation. 

The fire department and the water utility company will inspect and assess the location of the hydrant and determine if there is a way to move it or if it needs to stay where it is to be most effective in the surrounding area. 

If it is found that the hydrant can be moved they will let you know if there is anything you have to do. If the hydrant is on county property you should not have to be out any expense. 

Although they are a costly investment initially, having a fire hydrant installed on your property can potentially save your home and property as well as your lives and those who reside nearby.

The peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your belongings are safe is well worth the out-of-pocket expense.

Mike Pertz

I’m Mike, I’m a full time firefighter/paramedic and the founder of FirefighterNOW. I’m also a columnist for FireRescue1. If you’re reading this blog my guess is you are interested in the fire service. There's information on fitness, gear, interviews, tests and more. I hope you find what you're looking for.

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