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Fire Hydrants

Scottish Water is reminding people that vandals who set off fire hydrants could endanger lives and property and cause substantial disruption to water services.

With the school holidays now under way and warm, dry weather forecast this week we are calling on people not to set off fire hydrants and urging anyone who witnesses such incidents to report them to the police immediately.

The frequency of fire hydrant vandalism incidents can increase during warm, dry weather and in previous years there have been a number of incidents, particularly in parts of the Greater Glasgow area.

There were several incidents of fire hydrant vandalism in the area in early June, some of which caused a loss of water supply to customers, low water pressure or discoloured water.

Fire hydrants are a connection point to water mains and allow access to the water network, primarily for fire fighting purposes.

Fire hydrant vandalism can result in thousands of properties suffering disruption to their water supply or reduced water pressure.

Reduced water pressure can hamper the ability of firefighters to tackle fires and the vandalism can also cause localised flooding in streets.

Mr Jim Hassan, Scottish Water's water operation manager in the Glasgow area, said "Some children and teenagers, and even some adults, think setting off a fire hydrant is fun and just a pranl. But they're wrong. Fire hydrant vandalism is very serious and can have potentially fatal consequences.

"Fire hydrants are essential for firefighting and an inadequate water supply can hamper the work of firefighters and so endanger lives and property.

"Fire hydrant vandalism can reduce the vital water supplies to thousands of homes and affect whole communities, including care homes, medical centres, hospitals, schools and businesses.

"Whenver there are a number of these incidents Scottish Water has to bring in extra resources and this can adversely affect our ability to deal with water- related issues elsewhere.

"This mindless vandalism is a very serious community problem in some areas and we are urging people there to help us tackle the problem by reporting any incidents to the police immediately."

Fire hydrants can be accessed legally only by Scottish Water, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service 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.

People who know anyone responsible for fire hydrant vandalism can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or give the information anonymously on www.fearless.org, which is part of Crimestoppers.

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