Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking Into the Future of Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants are a critical link in firefighting, but they are not unfailing. Hydrant components—made of steel, iron and rubber—do not hold up forever when exposed to water.  Lives can be saved or lost in a matter of seconds in a fire, and a failed hydrant means firefighters must spend more time getting their tools in order before battling a blaze.

“A hydrant is a lifeline to a firefighter,” retired New York City firefighter George Sigelakis tells the Verge. “You can have manpower and millions of dollars worth of trucks and equipment, but without water out of a hydrant, you can’t do anything.”

Sigelakis has invented a modern take on the traditional hydrant: the Sigelock Spartan. The Spartan is made of stainless steel and ductile iron, with a powder coating to fight corrosion. Its internal construction prevents damage from freezing water.

The Spartan can open in seconds, but only with a proprietary wrench, which dissuades tampering. They are manufactured in Pennsylvania and ship with a 50-year warranty. Per the report, 150 Spartans are currently installed across a dozen states, including Florida and Massachusetts.