Fire service warning after hydrants are vandalised in Coventry - The Coventry Observer

Fire service warning after hydrants are vandalised in Coventry

Coventry Editorial 8th Jul, 2024   0

WEST Midlands Fire Service has issued a warning to people not to damage hydrants after one was vandalised in Coventry.

At the end of last month, a crew from Foleshill Fire Station attended a street in the Wood End area of the city where they found a hydrant cover had been removed and the hydrant was forced open to let torrents of water cascade out onto the roof of a nearby house.

The service said deliberate damage to on-street water supplies or fire hydrants could cause widespread disruption and put lives at risk.

Damage of this kind can cause widespread disruption and put lives at risk.

In the event in Coventry, the property was damaged by the water, which also pooled in its foundations. Both WMFS vehicles were unavailable to respond to other emergencies and needed to return to their station for their drenched fire kit to be replaced.

A month earlier, another hydrant was opened in the same area.

Damaging a hydrant is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £500, plus any costs ordered by a court.

The high-pressure release of water can cause damage and injuries and impact local water supplies by discolouring water, reducing water pressure, causing supply issues, causing contamination and increasing flooding risk.

Jake Tinsley, watch manager at Foleshill Fire Station, said: “It’s vital that our firefighters have access to working hydrants at all times.

“They are a hugely important resource that our crews regularly use to extinguish fires safely.

“We pride ourselves on responding to serious incidents in just five minutes.

“However, if we arrive to find a damaged hydrant this can unnecessarily delay or hamper our firefighting.

“Turning out to repair hydrants that have been damaged deliberately can also be an avoidable waste of our time and resources.”

Coun Pat Seaman, Henley Ward Councillor, and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “The council and police work closely with the fire service and Severn Trent and that’s why we are backing the call urging people in the local community and across the city to help us tackle the problem.

“We are encouraging parents and carers to warn children about the dangers of hydrant vandalism, to both themselves and their wider community.”

Drivers are also being reminded not to obstruct fire hydrants by parking vehicles on them – that is also illegal and can endanger lives.

The only people who will be accessing a fire hydrant will be firefighters – in full uniform – or Severn Trent workers who will also be wearing a uniform with the water company’s logo.

Anyone who witnesses hydrant damage should report it, detailing the date, time, street, postcode, registration number of a suspect’s vehicle and any company name on a vehicle.

Witnesses can visit the West Midlands Fire Service website at or email Severn Trent at [email protected] to report fire hydrant misuse.

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