Vehicle blocking a fire hydrant
Firefighters are urging drivers to be careful not to park over, or too close to, fire hydrants which give crews access to a crucial supply of water during incidents.
Hydrants can be found on public roads, pavements or grass verges and are clearly marked with a yellow ‘H’ next to the hydrant cover, or on a nearby piece of street furniture e.g. lampposts.
The plea comes as a result of crews not being able to get to the water supply on a number of occasions, whether it be during a fire or after an incident when they need to fill up the fire engine ready for the next.
Most recently the issue has been highlighted in the New Romney area, but drivers all over Kent are encouraged to take the following steps into consideration when parking:
- Look out for hydrants marked with a yellow ‘H’
- If there’s a hydrant in the place you were going to park in, please find an alternative location
- If there’s a hydrant near to where you have parked, make sure there’s a good amount of space between your car and the hydrant - firefighters need to be able to lift the cover and connect the appropriate apparatus to get a supply of water for firefighting
'Work with us to make sure firefighters can do their jobs'
Assistant Director for Operational Response at Kent Fire and Rescue Service Chris Colgan said: “It’s crucial that crews are able to access hydrants, whether it be during an incident to tackle a fire, or afterwards to fill the fire engine up ready for the next call. Any delay in accessing water could have an impact on firefighting operations, so it’s really important that drivers work with us to make sure firefighters can do their jobs.
“We know some drivers make a conscious effort not to park over hydrants, but often vehicles are still too close for crews to gain access.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place in the event that a hydrant is not accessible. Under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 it is an offence to be parked over or to prevent access to a fire hydrant when it is required for firefighting, and vehicles repeatedly blocking hydrants could be reported.
Anyone with queries about fire hydrants can email firstname.lastname@example.org