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Firms fined for attaching pipes to fire hydrants
TWO firms have been fined hundreds of pounds for attaching illegal pipes to fire hydrants in York and East Yorkshire.
Their actions prompted a stark warning that lives could be put at risk if facilities firefighters may have to rely on in an emergency are damaged.
Jordan Road Surfacing Ltd, of Newark, attached an illegal standpipe to a hydrant in Market Weighton in May, and has been fined £750 and ordered to pay £750 in costs and a surcharge by York magistrates. They pleaded guilty to an offence under the Water Industry Act.
Yorkshire Water’s prosecutor said the pipe had been spotted by Humberside Fire and Rescue fire hydrants manager Neil Mizon who was concerned it could damage the fire hydrant, with potentially serious consequences.
After the case, Mr Mizon said: “Water hydrants are critical to the fire service. If people or businesses access them illegally, and it is not reported, there are risks of water contamination.
“More importantly, if hydrants are tampered with or damaged we may not be able to access them and this could cause a fire to develop rapidly and even result in fatality.”
A second company, John Rome Ltd, of Kilmarnock, also pleaded guilty to two charges of the same offence after using a hydrant in Nether Poppleton in April and June this year.
Yorkshire Water’s lawyer told magistrates the company had already been cautioned for a similar offence earlier this year, and John Rome was fined £1700 for the two offences and ordered to pay another £1725 in costs and £170 in statutory surcharges.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, like the Humberside service, condemned the dangerous practice.
Peter Hudson, the Group Manager for Prevention and Protection, said: “Individuals or companies who use hydrants illegally are acting irresponsibility and can put the lives of local residents at risk. If they damage the hydrant and we are not aware of the defect, it can cause us delays in getting water to an incident if needed.”