One way to irritate your travel companions is to ignore the famous monuments and take photographs of fire hydrants. Here are my holiday photos from Boston, New York City and Washington DC.
Why was I interested in fire hydrants? Because American movies give the impression that US cities install these hydrants on street corners to provide cooling jets of water for playing children. They help to fight fires as well? Even these cute ones with yellow hats? Really?
Back home we leave the hydrants underground and mark them with plates like these.
How do these markers help fire fighters? This is what the London Fire Brigade’s website says:-
“The two numbers on the plate show the size of the water main and the approximate distance of the hydrant.”
So in the photos above, the water mains serving the hydrants are 150 millimetres and 250mm in diameter respectively, and are located 1 metre and 4 metres from the marker plates.
Back to the LFB website for another crucial fact:-
“In addition to marker plates, all hydrants are displayed on a computer in the cab of every London fire engine so that the nearest hydrant can be located while the crew are on route to a fire call.”
I feel reassured by my research into fire hydrants. It’s just a pity that my local fire station in Chiltern Street is now a trendy hotel and restaurant.
Click here to read more from the London Fire Brigade. The best bit is the quiz (click here) about the Great Fire of London which started on 2nd September 1666 (oops, I’ve given you one of the answers!).