Fire hydrant vandals 'endangered lives' and cut water supply to Edinburgh homes

Emergency services have condemned the actions of vandals who trashed fire hydrants in Niddrie, 'putting lives at risk'.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 5:05 pm
Fire crews warned of the dangers of vandalising fire hydrants.
Fire crews warned of the dangers of vandalising fire hydrants.

Homes in the EH16 postcode were left without water for around an hour on Thursday evening.

Residents called Scottish Water and a team was dispatched to make repairs and restore supply.

The indicent prompted the water body and emergency services to reissue their warnings about the dangers of vandalising fire hydrants.

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Gary Caig, Scottish Water’s operations manager, said: “Some may see it as ‘harmless fun’ but that’s not the case. The reality is that as vandals 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. Fire hydrant vandalism is completely reckless and selfish and communities need to help us put a stop to this behaviour."

He added: “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. “

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's assistant chief officer Ross Haggart said: “It is absolutely essential 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 and 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. “

And Inspector Alan Mulholland, of Police Scotland, added: “We will take appropriate action against anyone found misusing or vandalising fire hydrants.”

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 can lead to a fine of up to £5000.