Want to ask a question? Click here

Why do so many fire hydrants in Wilmington have orange ‘Out of Service’ bags on them?

Julian March
Fire hydrant bagged

A fire hydrant at the intersection of Eighth and Princess streets is covered with a plastic wrapper indicating that it is not in service. (StarNews photo by Paul Stephen)

The bags alert firefighters the hydrant is malfunctioning and will not yield water, said David Hines, a spokesman for the Wilmington Fire Department.

“In the heat of the moment, you don’t want to catch a dry hydrant,” he said.

The fire department typically checks all city fire hydrants twice a year. If the hydrant is malfunctioning or firefighters cannot get full water pressure, it is bagged and firefighters alert the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority the hydrant needs to be serviced.

“Usually it means we can’t get water out of it,” Hines said. “We know this is not the fire hydrant that we want to hook up to if there’s a fire in the area.”

Hines said it is not too common for a hydrant to malfunction, and those would make a very small percentage of total hydrants.

“Wilmington is also blessed to have a lot of hydrants,” he said. “There’s probably one on the next corner and we’ll just use it.”

User-contributed question by:

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!

Bookmark and Share

Ask a question

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.

Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Your question:

Post a comment

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.

Your comment: