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Public-images-osm logo.svg emergency = fire_hydrant
Downtown Charlottesville fire hydrant.jpg
An active fire protection measure, and a source of water provided in most urban, suburban, and rural areas with municipal water service to enable fire fighters to tap into the municipal water supply to assist in extinguishing a fire Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Emergency
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal


The tag emergency=fire_hydrant is used to map a  fire hydrant: a device to take water for firefighting purposes. A fire hydrant is an active fire protection measure, and a source of water provided in most urban, suburban, and rural areas with municipal water service to enable firefighters to tap into the municipal water supply to assist in extinguishing a fire. It can be pressurised or unpressurised. It may also be known as a fire plug or johnny pump.

Not to be confused with a emergency=dry_riser_inlet. These inlets do not provide water, on the contrary, they are used to pump water up a building.

A designated place where fire engines can park to pump water from a body of water (such as a river or lake), is mapped with emergency=suction_point (see the wiki page for that tag). If there is also a pipe present to make it easier to pump water, that pipe can be mapped as a hydrant with appropriate water_source=* and fire_hydrant:pressure=suction (see below).

How to map

For numeric values with units, see the guidelines: Map Features/Units

Basic tags

Tag Description Valid values
emergency=fire_hydrant Tag a node with this tag to identify the location of a fire hydrant.
fire_hydrant:type=* The shape of the hydrant. See the table below for details. pipe, pillar, wall, underground
fire_hydrant:pressure=* Pressure at which the water is supposed to flow through the hydrant.

If under pressure but you don't know the value fire_hydrant:pressure=yes.

If the hydrant is connected to a pond/stream/tank/pool and a pump is needed to get water, use fire_hydrant:pressure=suction.

If this tag is not specified, pressure is assumed to be unknown.

Note: 100 lb/sq in ≅ 6.985 bar

# (numeric value) in bar/yes/suction

fire_hydrant:type=* details

Values for fire_hydrant:type=*
Value Description Examples
pipe Hydrant consisting of a simple capped pipe, without the usual hydrant shape
Hydrants 20130326 112938.JPG
pillar A pillar type hydrant. If you want to be more specific, see #pillar:type=* details below.
Hydrant in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
wall A wall-mounted fire hydrant.
Guentherscheid Tunnel Rescue4.jpg
underground A simple fire hydrant outlet located underground, below a metal cap. Discerning coupling types or sizes can be determined by reading the cap inscription or by raising the cap. There may be other types of objects hidden below these caps such as measuring points (e.g. labelled "GWM") or natural gas (labelled "Gas"). Hydrants are, of course, labelled "HYDRANT".

In Austria and Germany underground hydrants are of the same type. Inside there is not a normal coupling, but a bayonet coupling where the standpipe is locked in. The coupling should be Bayonet 70 mm throughout the two countries.

Berlin hydrant 20050211 p1000517.jpg

Optional tags

All other tags are optional but are useful for firefighting purposes. If you don't know the data, simply don't use these tags.

Optional tags
Tag Description Valid values Examples
fire_hydrant:diameter=* This is the nominal diameter of the underground pipe going along the street that feeds (among other things) the hydrant. In some countries you can read it on the signboard near the hydrant: generally, it is the number on top of the sign.

NB: Do not confuse the number printed on the sign with the number that is printed on the hydrant, that instead is generally the diameter of the flanged connection between the hydrant and the underground pipe. This diameter currently is NOT tagged.

# (numeric value) in mm, inches ("), or letters.
In Belgium and Germany, the number on the top of the sign (H250) is the nominal diameter in mm of the underground pipe that feeds the hydrant. Other numbers are the distances in meters of the hydrant from the sign (on the left / on the right / frontally).
flow_rate=* Nominal flow rate. If fire_hydrant:awwa_class=* is present, this tag is redundant. # (numeric value) with unit of measure, in International System standard unit is m3/s, but for hydrants are preferable l/min (liters per minute), usgal/min (US gallons per minute), ukgal/min (UK gallons per minute), or m3/h (cubic meters per hour). For example, flow_rate=600 l/min.

In France, a normalized fire hydrant needs to supply 120 m3 during two hours. In the United States, this specification is in gallons per minute.

The use of usgal/min or ukgal/min instead of gpm is necessary because UK and US gallons are different.

fire_hydrant:awwa_class=* In the US, classification per American Waterworks Association. If flow_rate=* is present, this tag is redundant. See the table below for details. AA, A, B, C
couplings=* Number of couplings. # (numeric value)
couplings:type=* Coupling standard. Bayonet, Barcelona, Guillemin, Klaue, Sprawny, Storz, UNI

More types are described at: Hose coupling on Wikipedia

couplings:diameters=* Each coupling diameter, delimited by semicolons. #;#;# (numeric values). Always specify the unit of measure, normally use mm. For inches use ". In some countries characters A, B, C are used to specify the connector ( Austria and Germany)

e.g.: taken this image & guessing diameters, this could result in: couplings:diameters=45 mm;45 mm;110 mm

pillar:type=* For better description of pillar hydrants, in addition to fire_hydrant:type=pillar. See below for details. dry_barrel, wet_barrel
water_source=* The water source for the hydrant. main, stream, river, canal, drain, ditch, pond, lake, water_tank, swimming_pool, groundwater, … "main" means a hydrant connected to a pipe that is fed by the local distribution network.

"groundwater" is for water wells.

This list may not be exhaustive. As a rule of thumb, the value of water_source=* should repeat the tag of the related water source, if present, for example, if the hydrant takes water from a source that is tagged as waterway=river then water_source=river, and so on.

water_tank:volume=* Volume of the water reserve, applicable only in conjunction with water_source=water_tank or water_source=swimming_pool. The page for emergency=fire_hydrant and the one for emergency=water_tank have declared different default units for water_tank:volume in the past; it is therefore perhaps preferable to always explicitly specify a unit.
survey:date=* Date of the last site survey (this tag is not specific to fire hydrants). This means that someone observed the hydrant at this location on this date. This does not imply that a functional check was done at that time. For the date of last functional check, another tag (not yet defined) will be necessary. YYYY-MM-DD
colour=* The colour of the hydrant. Unless otherwise specified, the entire hydrant is this colour. blue, green, yellow and red are the valid values in the AWWA scheme, but many jurisdictions do other things
bonnet:colour=* Colour of the top section ("bonnet") of the fire hydrant if different from the colour tag value. blue, green, yellow and red are the valid values in the AWWA scheme, but many jurisdictions do other things
cap:colour=* Colour of the caps of the fire hydrant if different from the colour tag value. The caps are the covers over the hose openings. blue, green, yellow and red are the valid values in the AWWA scheme, but many jurisdictions do other things. If caps are painted in more than one colour, list all colours separated by semicolons
reflective:colour=* Colour of reflective material, if any (commonly stripes or bands around the barrel).
disused:emergency=fire_hydrant Hydrants are supposed to be in service by default. If the hydrant is out of service, use a lifecycle prefix: replace emergency=fire_hydrant with this tag.
manufacturer=* To retrieve information from manufacturers' documentation. This tag is not specific to fire hydrants.
model=* To retrieve information from manufacturers' documentation. This tag is not specific to fire hydrants.
fire_hydrant:position=* Description of the position lane (on the side of a road lane), parking_lot (in a parking), sidewalk (on a sidewalk), green (in a grassy area)
fire_hydrant:count=* Number of hydrants if there are more than one. Anyway, it is preferable to tag each hydrant with its own node (according the OSM principle of "one feature, one element"). # (numeric value)
fire_hydrant:style=* For special designs. wsh, …
ref=* Reference number, if applicable. # (numeric value)
name=* Name, if applicable.
fire_hydrant:opening=* Direction to open the valve. Indicated in the corner of the signage in Hungary with a round arrow. cw (clockwise), ccw (counter-clockwise)

fire_hydrant:awwa_class=* details

AWWA, short for American Water Works Association. Wet Hydrants are generally fed by water mains in urban and suburban areas. The dimensions of the mains vary greatly, and so the flow capacity of the hydrants can vary substantially. The location of hydrants is the first requirement in a mutual assistance call; the second most important piece of information is the flow capacity. Some jurisdictions in the United States have adapted a colour scheme specified by the American Water Works Association. In these jurisdictions, flow capacity may be determined simply by examining the colour of the bonnet and caps of a fire hydrant. In other cases, finding out the capacity may be more difficult.

Flow Capacities and AWWA Colour Scheme
Class Flow Capacity Bonnet & Caps Colour
AA more than 1500 US gal/min Light blue
A between 1500 and 1000 US gal/min Green
B between 1000 and 500 US gal/min Yellow
C less than 500 US gal/min Red

pillar:type=* details

Values for pillar:type=*
Value Description Examples
dry_barrel A style of pillar hydrant where the water shutoff valve is underground, below the frost line. These are used on pressurized systems wherever winter air temperatures are below freezing for extended periods. They are occasionally used for dry hydrants when the water supply is higher in elevation than the hydrant.

Distinguishing feature: The stem to operate the underground valve is on the top cap of the hydrant.

Dry barrel hydrant
wet_barrel A style of pillar hydrant where the barrel is pressurized at all times, with individual valves for each outlet. These are common in temperate climates, but not used wherever temperatures may be consistently below freezing. The type may be determined by inspecting the top caps: Each cap has a valve internal to the hydrant barrel and the stem to operate it is usually opposite to the corresponding cap.

Distinguishing feature: The top of the hydrant may not have a separable top cap, and even when a top cap is present, there is no valve stem due to the lack of an underground valve.

Wet barrel hydrant

Deprecated tags

How to find an underground fire hydrant: signage

Possible rendering

Emergency fire hydrant.svg suggested by User:Chrisana13


Tagged objects distribution


See also