Fido may not notice the difference, but most of Virginia Beach’s red fire hydrants will be getting a makeover.
In the next weeks, firefighters will begin painting 9,000 public hydrants yellow with color-coded caps. The change is intended to align the city’s color scheme with the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendations. Yellow has been the national standard for the hydrants' barrel for years.
“It’s a bright color that stands out, allowing it to be easily distinguishable for the firefighters so that they can find it quickly,” said Tracy Vecchiarelli of the association’s Building Fire Protection and Life Safety Group. The different colored caps are intended to tell firefighters something significant: the available gallons per minute of water flow.
A blue cap, for example, represents a high flow rate at 1,500 gallons per minute. A red cap means the flow rate will be lower than 500 gallons per minute.