A SPATE of fire hydrant vandalism has sparked a warning from Scottish Water and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The plea to the public follows 40 incidents of vandalism in the last four weeks, mostly in Edinburgh and Glasgow, some resulting in disruption of water supply to customers, reduced water pressure or discoloured water and localised flooding in streets. 

As hydrants are primarily used by firefighters, the damage can also impact their water supply resulting in increased danger to lives and properties in the event of a fire.  

Scottish Water have revealed a recent incident involving a child who set off a fire hydrant and was injured by the pressure of the water coming out of it.  

Gordon Pryde, head of prevention and protection at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Tampering with or vandalising a fire hydrant is a criminal offence and could put lives at risk. It is vital that our firefighters have access to operational hydrants to ensure fires are safely extinguished, ultimately protecting lives as well as people’s homes and businesses. 

“Anyone who interferes with or vandalises a fire hydrant is also placing themselves at risk due to the potential release of high-water pressure. It can also impact local water supplies. 

“We take this matter very seriously and ask that parents and carers warn children about the dangers of hydrant vandalism, to both themselves and their wider community.” 

Anyone who witnesses fire hydrant vandalism should contact Police Scotland immediately by contacting 101. 

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or give the information anonymously on www.fearless.org, which is part of Crimestoppers.  

Vandalising or setting off a fire hydrant could lead to a fine of up to £5000, according to the Fire Scotland Act 2005, Section 23.