Help Stop Fire Hydrant Vandalism

08 July 2019
Fire Hydrant Vandalism

Don't put lives at risk

Vandalism carries serious consequences.

“Fire hydrant vandalism is completely reckless and selfish and communities need to help us put a stop to this behaviour before the unthinkable occurs. ”

Gary Caig
Operations Manager, Scottish Water
Scottish Water, Scottish Fire and Rescue, and Police Scotland are warning the public about the consequences of fire hydrant vandalism and urging communities across Scotland to help avoid lives being put at risk.

With the school summer holidays now in full flow, the three organisations are urging people not to set off fire hydrants and calling on anyone who witnesses this type of vandalism to report it to police without delay.

Fire hydrant vandalism incidents tend to spike during warm, dry weather and can cause disruption of water supply to customers, reduced water pressure or discoloured water, and localised flooding in streets. 

Gary Caig, Scottish Water’s Operations Manager in the Glasgow area, said: “Some may see it as ‘harmless fun’ but that’s not the case. The reality is that as they play in the water, homes and businesses are suffering low water pressure or no water at all. 

“What’s more, firefighters rely on these hydrants for fighting fires and a shortage of water could endanger people’s lives and property.” 

He added: “Fire hydrant vandalism is completely reckless and selfish and communities need to help us put a stop to this behaviour before the unthinkable occurs. We’re urging people to help us tackle the problem by reporting any incidents to the police immediately.” 

Echoing these sentiments, Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart , the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “We appreciate the majority of people are responsible members of society who would never consider vandalising public property.

“However, there remains a very small element who can endanger lives by needlessly vandalising fire hydrants.

“It is absolutely essential that our firefighters have access to water sources at times of emergency and having an operational hydrant close-by enables us to launch a quick attack on a fire and help protect lives as well as property.

“Those who tamper with fire hydrants also risk serious injury to themselves or others due to the potential sudden release of high water pressure.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service takes this matter extremely seriously and we urge everyone to help protect their communities by reporting any vandalism of fire hydrants to our partners at Police Scotland.”

Inspector Alan Mulholland, from Police Scotland Safer Communities, said: “Police Scotland will take appropriate action against anyone found misusing or vandalising fire hydrants and we would ask the public to call 101 to report anything concerning. Information can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.‎"

Fire hydrants can be accessed legally only by Scottish Water, Scottish Fire and Rescue and anyone who has been given permission from Scottish Water.   

Vandalising or setting off a fire hydrant could lead to a fine of up to £5000.