Why You Shouldn't Park Your Car In Front Of A Fire Hydrant

We've all thought about it before. Why can't we just park in front of the fire hydrant? Do fire fighters really need all that space to hook up their giant hose? Is there really going to be a fire? Yeah, there is and your car is going to get screwed like the one above.

So yeah, I'm never going to park in front of a fire hydrant ever. Definitely. For sure. [Reddit via BuzzFeed]


    Because we have fire hydrants sticking out of the ground all down our footpaths here in Oz...

    In Oz we have them built under a steel access flap in the road, hopefully located where you cannot park over them. Unlike in my street, where the fire brigade laid 300m of hose to get to the nearest un-parked over hydrant for a house fire because the nearest hydrants had been parked over.

    So in Oz we do one better - we park over over our hydrants - and still allow parking over them!!

      That's why you often see 'HP' painted on the path or road. I means "Hydrant Path", or so I have been told.

      Why is this even on Giz? Photos like this (hose through a car) are nearly as old as the internet itself. Seems like the Giz publishers are starting to post anything they find on the net, do they have some sort of quota they have to meet?

      I think you'll actually find it is illeagal to park over them, if not infront of too. Aswell as it is illegal to cover them with dirt and let your grass grow.

      We do have above ground hydrants:


      They are usually on the nature strips, so you could park in front of them.

        We have them here in Darwin too, although they're not as awesome looking as the American ones.

        you'll find you're both correct, australia has many types of hydrants, ground ball, milcock and L types are the three main ones i have worked with as a member of the CFA.
        the best part is when somebody parks over the top of them, so we smash their windows and move their cars into stupid places after the job is over.

      Let's check our facts before we go posting, hmm?

      We most certainly do have above ground fire hydrants in Australia.

        I've also seen above ground hydrants in the ACT

        As the son of a fireman (dad was a fireman in the RAAF for 20+ years, Fairbairne Raaf base in Canberra, Sale, 1CAMD near Kingswood in Sydney, Amberley near Brisbane and a few others) Ive picked up a lot of habits over my time. Checking fire extinguishers locations and blankets at work etc, knowing more in general about fire safety than the average joe (not being egotistical, dad taught us when we were growing up as it was his passion and something we should know). One habit is that yes, oddly enough, I do take an interest in fire hydrants. I don't know why lol. We do have above ground ones, we have the ones built in as well. There's the normal metal piping ones that are sometimes affixed to buildings that run off stormwater (they all do anyhow really) and the big red T junction ones that let you attach 2 different hoses at once. It's illegal to block any access to any hydrant in any manner. This is considered a safety issue plain and simple. You'll *always* be in the wrong if dragged to court for it as it's considered in the publics best interest to keep these devices clear in cases of access. So the douche with the car? Sucked in. If the firehose is damaged due to the glass? They're bloody expensive to replace, you'll be paying for it...

        tl:dr? Australia: We got heaps of fire hydrants. Heaps. All kinds.

      >In Oz we have them built under a steel access flap in the road,

      I've never seen them in the gutter area on a residential street. Either on the nature strip, or in the middle of the road.

        I have, saw some around the newer housing estates in Brisbane recently. In some places they do this to 'keep the area pretty' rather than have a giant whopping fire hydrant showing lol.

        Personally I'd rather the hydrant... they're kinda cool to see :)

        Here in W.A. I've seen both. There is the occasional above ground hydrant, sometimes with two outlets, usually in areas like schools or other big areas like parks or industrial lots where there is a lot of area to cover. On most residential streets it's a little box built into the curb or footpath that has a hinged metal cover with the connection and a keyed tap inside.

          and in WA we have blue cats eyes in the road to indicate where the hydrants are.

        @henry - I've seen the access flap ones in residential areas in Sydney. Grew up near them even.

      Not sure where you are in Australia, but ours are all on the footpath with dayglow orange teardrops pointing at where the cover to the outlet is as well as a marker on the kerb with FH on it.

    Just imagine the look on the drivers face when they saw this haha

    I have another one of these in my funny piks collection. Now all we need to do is come up with something nasty for drivers who park in disability spots that should not.

      Give them a disability so that they actually qualify? :)

        I've always thought of that scene from 'Misery' whenever I see idiots using these spaces when they're not disabled. A quick hobbling will send a message to others.

    I was firefighter in QLD for a while, in most places firefighters have a lot legal power break stuff like that car to do their jobs.

    I love the cloth to to stop the glass from cutting into the hose :) Hose more important some tools car.

    Also never question a firemen if says he will use his universal key to open your door if you don't open it. Universal keys do exist!

      Firefighters will always have my utmost respect, they don't get enough recognition for what they do :) I wanted to be one myself like my father but my epilepsy precluded me unfortunately.

      Most people just call 'em a hammer though.
      I call shenanigans on that universal key claim too. It's not possible to have any such thing, as there are too many different lock styles and mechanisms.
      There's also no way a Firey is gonna piss about with a key if he's in that urgent a need for hydrant access.
      If such a key WAS in existence, there would be rules and regs about it's use and they would never be allowed to do things like damage vehicles because.. .well ... they have a key.
      Also there would certainly have been something on Today-Tonight-Affairs-at-Breakfast bemoaning the fact that they exist and none of us can leave our cars anywhere.

      So ... "Shenanigans" to that I say.

        The universal "key" is either an axe or the jaws mate.

    In Victoria, Australia, you must not leave a vehicle stationary within one metre of a fire hydrant - it doesnt differentiate above or below ground, so all hydrants are applicable.

    I am assuming by this picture - the car's windows were broken to get the hose through?

    Look, there are some areas where parking is severely limited and fire hydrants just make the problem even worse. Instead of making them all no-parking zones and councils raising revenue from people who park in front of them because there is nowhere else to park, people should be allowed to park in front of them, providing that they accept the risk that their car may be damaged in the event of an emergency where fire hydrant access is required, without any right to claim for damages.

      You already take the risk knowing you can't do this. The fines there to back it up. I'm sorry but someones life is more important than your damn inconvenience. Parking's a hassle? Catch a ****ing bus. Don't bleat about revenue raising when it comes to the fire service. They're underfunded, undermanned and under appreciated as is. The term 'revenue raising' is a load of bollocks. Don't want to 'contribute to the revenue'? Don't do something illegal. This is a bloody symptom of society taking no bloody responsibility.

      Last edited 12/11/12 12:54 am

        Too right. You know the rules, you know what the penalty is if you break said rule, dont cry foul about "revenue raising" when you have broken the rule.

        Do those fines go to the fire department or the council? I believe it goes to the council - raises revenue for the council, and the fire department don't get a cent of that.

        Catch a bus? That assumes that there is a reliable bus (or even taxi) service where you need to go. Or that you know in advance that parking will be bad. Or like in my case the parking is bad in your own god damn street and you need somewhere to park your car at 11PM and the only spot available within 2 blocks is outside the god damn fire hydrant (and for the record, I park 2 blocks away when this happens).

          Sorry you're not gonna get any sympathy. I have a fire hydrant in my street too, but I'm not stupid enough to park over it. Why should firemen have to put up with having to break your window, make sure the hose is safe by clearing the glass they could cut themselves on, run a hose THROUGH your car (those mongrels are heavy, Ive lifted one), then have to put up with a pissing and whining civilian? They shouldn't.

          The money goes to the council, the council also gives funding to the fire departments. State and Local do.

          Hmmm yeah, because it's all about you and your wish to park somewhere isn't it?
          The whole world should make every conceivable allowance for you to be able to park right outside of the place you wish to go to, and if it doesn't, they must only be trying to rip you off in some way beyond your fathoming.

        +1 If someone dies because you illegally parked infront of a hydro outlet, I reckon you could be up for manslaughter for being reckless, and deservedly so. There's no reason to put someone elses life at risk for your own convenience.

    Yeah, they are about four feet long and have a sharp chunk of metal on the end. AKA an axe ...

    i am a firie in QLD. there are 2 main types of hydrants in QLD. they are HP (hydrant footpath), and HR (hydrant road). you can tell where there is a hydrant nearby by the Blue Cateye (or reflector) on the road. there are other Hydrants and building Boosters, however commonly they are the ones connected to the water mains (retuculated supply) under the steel covers on the road or path. my favourite "universal key" is the Hooligan tool (google it), very handy ;)

    I have a underground (man hole style) hydrant out the front of my place, its a PITA sometimes, but we also get people parking in front of it, i took a photo of one car who not only parked in front of the hydrant but also a bit over my driveway. They saw me and came to explain that they were there for a funeral and there was no where else to park (well except for the rest of the street about 20meters up the road) as if that's an excuse for parking in front of a hydrant.

    There should be a place you can email a photo of a car parked illegally to get them fined/warned (if i cant find a park i don't park illegally i just either go elsewhere or turn up late).

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