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NYC DEP Launches Summer Fire Hydrant Abuse Prevention Campaign

by Kelsey Schappell

Jorge Quinteros, Flickr

The HEAT is on. Literally.

New Yorkers don't need to be told about the hot temperatures outside, but they might need a reminder about the right ways to cool off.

That's why The City's Department of Environmental Protection launched its annual Hydrant Education Action Team, or HEAT. The group warns New Yorkers that illegally opening a fire hydrant can release more than a thousand gallons of water a minute.
HEAT Member Annisha Lear handed out flyers about fire hydrant safety in the South Bronx on Wednesday.
"I need water. I need to take a shower every day. My building might catch on fire one day, and I would want water to put out the fire. I live on the seventh floor, so I need the water to reach up there," Annisha explained. 
The DEP says people can get a city approved fire hydrant spray cap from their local fire house. It releases only 20 to 25 gallons of water a minute. 
In addition to wasting water, Annisha says there's lots that could go wrong when opening hydrants illegally. 
"You know, people can get hurt playng with fire hydrants 'cause too much water is released. Kids can get hurt, and it could cause car accidents," she said. 
The City's Department of Environmental Protection says the HEAT program has cut the number of complaints about illegally opened fire hydrants in half over the past year. 



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