2011-07-15 / Community

Don’t Open Hydrants

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection would like to remind New Yorkers that opening fire hydrants without spray caps is illegal, wasteful and dangerous. Illegally opened hydrants, which often spikes during heat waves, can lower water pressure and put lives at risk if there is a fire. Children can also be at serious risk, because the powerful force of an open hydrant without a spray cap can knock a child down, causing serious injury.

Firefighters efforts can be hindered without adequate water pressure to put out fires. The reduction of water pressure can also cause problems at medical facilities. Opening a hydrant illegally can result in fines of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both. New Yorkers should call 311 to report open fire hydrants. Hydrants can only be opened legally if equipped with a City-approved spray cap. One illegally opened hydrant generally releases more than 1,000 gallons of water per minute, while a hydrant with a spray cap releases 20 to 25 gallons per minute. Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over, free of charge, at local firehouses.

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