Fire Protection and Fire Hydrants

Public fire protection in Trenton began in the early 1800s. The water for fire protection is the same as that produced at the Water Filtration Plant and distributed in pipelines for drinking water. The infrastructure for fire protection has developed from initial "fire plugs" to approximately 3,400 fire hydrants in Trenton Water Works' service area today.

  • In the early 1800s, the water pipelines were made of hollowed out logs. When there was a fire, fire fighters had to bore a hole in the wooden water mains and fill buckets with or pump out water flowing from the hole. When done fighting the fire, they would put a plug in the hole and keep a record of where it was for future use. This is how the term fire plug originated.
  • Development of permanent, above-ground hydrants with access to water from the pipelines began in 1803 in Philadelphia.
  • Design of cast iron hydrants were further developed and refined through the mid-1800s.
  • Current hydrants are similar to those of the 1860s.
  • Fire hydrants are only for utility purposes and for fighting fires.
  • Other uses must be approved and a fire hydrant permit obtained.

Permitted Use of a Fire Hydrant

The Department of Recreation, Natural Resources and Culture will allow communities to open fire hydrants, between July 1st and August 31st, supplying a wrench to open the hydrant and a sprinkler nozzle to reduce the water force.  A $25.00 fee is required. A $40.00 refundable deposit for each barricade plus a fee of $5.00 per barricade will be charged. Opening of hydrants without permission from the Department of Recreation, Natural Resources and Culture is illegal, dangerous and potentially deadly. 

For additional information please call 609-989-3635.

Report Misuse of Public Fire Hydrants

Misuse of a public hydrant should be reported to 609-989-3222  Misuse includes those tampering with hydrants and illegally hooking up to hydrants.