Can You Put A Trash Can In Front Of A Fire Hydrant?

can you put trash cans in front of a fire hydrant

People are always running out of space to park their vehicles. Many want some extra space in front of their yards. And to free up all that space they desperately try to move the ugly trash cans to some other place. But should this be done?

Can You Put A Trash Can In Front Of A Fire Hydrant?

The front of a fire hydrant is not the right place for you to put your trash can. A fire hydrant is meant to provide ready access to water in the event of a fire outbreak in the environment where it is located. Any obstruction in front of the hydrant will hinder the firefighting team to have “ready access”.

As much as it is a good practice to put out your trash can, there are several factors to consider so you do not end up setting yourself against the authorities and also becoming the cause of avoidable destruction.

Why You SHOULDN’T Put Your Trash Can in Front of a Fire Hydrant?

Let’s look in detail, at why you shouldn’t put your trash can in front of a fire hydrant:

1- It is considered unlawful! Most states in the U.S. have rules and regulations condemning the obstruction of fire hydrants in any community by any unauthorized individual. For example, in California, you cannot park your vehicle or obstruct a fire hydrant in any way.

2- Most Garbage collection services advise people to place trash cans 3 feet away from objects like fire hydrants, cars, mailboxes, lamp posts, other trash cans, etc., to prevent causing any form of damage to them and also for ease of pick up.

3- This is perhaps the most important of all. It would slow down the rapid response action of the fire department. A trashcan would likely prevent a fire hydrant from being easily spotted and accessed by the fire response team if there is a fire in the area, especially at night.

Even if the fire hydrant does get spotted, moving the trash can away from it would take up some amount of time that should have been initially used to suppress the fire outbreak.

What Do the Authorities Say? (Required Clearance around a Fire Hydrant)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are 2 requirements in this regard.

NFPA 1 Fire code requires that a clear space of 36″(914mm) has to be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants and according to the Fire code, you should maintain at least a 60″(1,524mm) space in front of fire hydrants so that the fire service engine pump apparatus can be parked adjacent to the fire hydrant for ease of operation.

Other bodies like the U.S Fire Administration, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and the local Fire Departments also advise citizens to keep at least a space of 10 ft. (5 ft. on either side) in front of a fire hydrant.

Where Do You Place Your Trash Cans?

If it is your collection day and you’re going to leave your trash out, there are a few things you should keep in mind on how to place your trash can properly:

1- Don’t leave your trash can under a basketball net or a low-hanging tree branch, etc, and also don’t leave it too close to the road where vehicles will knock it over.

2- Always keep some distance between your trash cans. A space of 2 feet is recommended.

3- Even if the curb isn’t painted to show the required 3 feet distance you should maintain between your trash can and a fire hydrant, make sure to observe the limit.

4- Place the trash cans somewhere it would be easily accessible. Things should not get in the way of trash cans, otherwise there will be missed pick ups and delays.

Your driveway could be a good place for you to place your trash can on your collection day. You can move it back to its storage position after the collection has been done.

5- Place your trash cans on the curb with the wheels pointing back to your home and not the road. The lid of the trashcan should open facing the road.

6- If it isn’t your pick-up day, you should place the trash can in a place where it’s less likely to get bumped into. Also, keep your trash can closed and clean to prevent raccoons and other pests from getting inside your trash can, as this can cause pest infestation.

7- If you don’t want your trash can to ruin the appealing beauty of your yard, you can build a DIY shed, or use your garage or potted plants to camouflage your trash can.

The Importance of Putting Trash in the Right Place

Proper garbage management is important. The first and major benefactor is you: your health and your environment. Here are the reasons for putting trash in the right place:

1- Firstly, it is not good to be a litterbug, littering your trash all around your surroundings. You will be seen with as an irresponsible person by the community and you won’t be able to maintain healthy relations with your neighbors.

2- When the trash is disposed of properly, the probability of contracting illnesses or diseases caused by an unhealthy environment would be highly reduced.

Polluting the environment with trash may cause the air around you to become toxic, facilitating greenhouse gas production, stenches, or even the spread of certain respiratory problems caused by garbage.

3- If trash gets in the waterways, it causes clogging, increased bacterial activities, and will affect the marine life. It is also not good for the soil and water.

4- Proper disposal of garbage also helps to prevent infestation of insects and rodent pests such as ants, rats, flies, cockroaches, etc. Putting trash in the right place makes a cleaner and more beautiful environment and a healthier society.

5- The act of trying to use the trash can as a cover so you can park in that space might qualify you to get a ticket from the police if you are eventually discovered.

Final Thoughts!

Putting a trash can in front of a fire hydrant threatens the primary aim of convenience and accessibility for which fire hydrants were installed (in case of an emergency) and also puts your whole community at risk. It is your responsibility as a citizen to contribute to the safety of lives and properties in your society.

In conclusion, the right way to leave out your trash is to keep it a good distance away from any fire hydrant and never in front of one.

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