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People have only just found out what the H on lampposts means

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

People have only just found out what the H on lampposts means

People have only just realised what the H found on some lampposts means, after a TikTok video explained what the symbols are for – and no, it’s not for helicopters, as some mistakenly believe... Watch the video here: 


You may have noticed bright yellow signs with a large black H on them, as they’re often seen on lampposts or other public spaces. 

But while some of you might have worked out what the H stands for, many others are only just finding out that it’s all about. 


South Yorkshire Fire posted a video on TikTok, saying: "POV: You’ve walked past these small yellow signs your whole life. 

"But it was today you realised, finally, after all these years, they are there to tell firefighters where the hydrants are." 

Yup, the big Hs are to show fire crews the location of a water supply, as sometimes the fire hydrant cover is obscured.

Some people were adamant that they’d always known, saying they’d been taught at school or that it was simply ‘pretty obvious’. 

H for hydrant, obviously. Credit: TikTok/@southyorkshirefire
H for hydrant, obviously. Credit: TikTok/@southyorkshirefire

But many others admitted it was brand new information, with one saying: "I never knew. Everyday is a school day thank you." 

Someone else said: “Well I learnt something new today thank you! 

Quite a few people fessed up that they always assumed it stood for something else: helicopter. 


“I thought it was a helicopter landing pad,” one said, with another agreeing: “Thought it was H for helicopters.” 

A third wrote: “I used to think it was H for helicopter landing.” 

Some TikTokers also asked what the numbers meant above and below the H, with one explaining: “Top is size and bottom is the distance from the sign.” 

Using the sign in the video as an example, someone else added: “It means fire hydrant 100mm connection and it’s within 10 metres of the sign.” 

The more you know... Credit: ACORN 1/Alamy Stock Photo
The more you know... Credit: ACORN 1/Alamy Stock Photo

According to Hydrants Direct, a company that maintains and tests privately owned fire hydrants, local authority fire and rescue services are usually responsible for the hydrant signs.

The website explains: "The location of a fire hydrant is indicated by an above ground post or marker plate. Hydrant marker plates are rectangular yellow signs, with a large black H and a pair of numbers, usually attached to a wall, lamp post or a short concrete post. The two numbers on the plate show the size of the water main and the approximate distance of the hydrant from the plate. Yellow paint is sometimes used to help identify a fire hydrant cover. 

"As well as marker plates, all hydrants are also shown on the digital maps available in fire engines, so that the nearest one can be found while firefighters are on their way to an incident. This also means that even if marker plates are missing or broken, the fire service will still be able to find them in most cases, and once reported they will be repaired in due course."

Featured Image Credit: @southyorkshirefire/TikTok/Christopher May/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, TikTok

Jess Hardiman
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