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What are those blue reflectors in the road?

Ken Little

Q. I’ve noticed blue reflectors that are attached to roads around New Hanover County. Some are in the middle of the travel lane and some are in housing developments. What is the purpose for these?

A. The blue reflectors are installed by local fire departments, primarily New Hanover County Fire Rescue, Wilmington Fire Department spokesman David Hines said.

Epoxy is used on the blue reflectors to attach them to the roadway.

The reflectors “indicate the location of a water source,” Hines said.

“In the county, hydrants are more sparse and can be more difficult to locate, especially when dark. This is when the reflectors work the best and help you to find the closest water source,” Hines said.

The Wilmington Fire Department recently purchased some reflectors and epoxy for some of its outlying stations, Hines said.

The reflectors are not indestructible. Snow plows dislodge them, so they are more widely used in the South than in the North, Hines said.

“If we limit them to rural and remote neighborhoods they can be an effective tool for us,” Hines said.

Added Charles Smith, New Hanover County spokesman: “Reflectors located within the jurisdiction of county fire are installed by our hydrant technician.”


What are the meanings of each of the multi-colored spray paint marks and tape used by the utility companies before digging up a street or surveying land?

Why are there white square stickers in my mailbox, and on certain streets?

What are the small red circles with the letter “H” on the roads at Wrightsville Beach?


User-contributed question by:
Richard Abeling

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