Fireys urge residents to keep hydrants clear

Sonia Owen checks out a hydrant. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

That 30-centimetre blue metal disc on your nature strip may not be visually appealing, but it’s important that it be left clear.

That’s the message Wyndham Vale CFA is trying to get out to residents.

Captain Trevor Weston said the brigade was noticing that homeowners in the newer estates had either put gardens over the hydrants or parked their cars on them.

“We understand it might not be the best- looking feature in front of your home, but it can often mean the difference between life and death,” he said.

“If we can’t get to the hydrant quickly enough, the consequences could be catastrophic.”

Mr Weston said that when firefighters arrived at house fires, their truck held only enough water to battle the blaze for four to six minutes, so they relied on nearby hydrants.

Pointing to an example in Wyndham Vale last year, Mr Weston said tanks were forced to connect to a hydrant more than 100 metres away from a fire, running four or five lengths of hose.

When the fire was extinguished, they found a hidden hydrant that was just five metres away.

“Every second counts when we’re fighting a fire,” he said. “Don’t cover it with landscaping … don’t park your car on top of it.”