The different colors of a fire hydrant serve as important visual communication tools for firefighters. These colors indicate the water flow capacity of the hydrant and are recommended by the NFPA. According to the NFPA guidelines, fire hydrants should be color-coded in the following manner:
These colors are usually limited to the fire hydrant tops and nozzle caps, but colors may also be seen on the hydrant body. The NFPA recommends that the body of a public hydrant should be chrome yellow to ensure high visibility. While most new hydrants are usually this color, there may still be variations depending on the local guidelines or regulations.
Similar to Fire Hydrant Signs, Fire hydrant rings are useful visual communication devices that indicate important information about the hydrant. These may be in the form of status rings used to mark ‘Out-of-service’ hydrants. Hydrant rings like the ones that say ‘For fire department use only’ convey ownership by defining the usage right. The NFPA flow rings adhere to the NFPA fire hydrant color code to identify the water flow capacity.
Different colored fire hydrant rings correspond with different water flow capacities of fire hydrants. A red ring indicates a rated flow capacity lower than 500 GPM and an orange ring indicates a capacity between 500-999 GPM. Green hydrant rings signify that the hydrant’s rated water flow capacity is 1000-1499 GPM, while blue rings are used to mark capacities of 1500 GPM or greater.