Fire and Water Department Warn: Opening Hydrants Risks Public Safety

Published on June 18, 2024

At the start of a prolonged heat wave, the Syracuse Fire Department and Department of Water are warning against opening hydrants for relief from high temperatures. Fire Chief Michael Monds and Commissioner of Water Joseph Awald say open hydrants reduce water pressure which can limit the ability to fight fires and create dangerous conditions on city streets. Opening a hydrant is also a civil penalty which can be subject to fines of up to $500.


Chief Monds said, “open fire hydrants can affect our water supply and affect fire department operations in an emergency. When a fire occurs, being able to connect to the closest hydrant and know that we will have adequate pressure is crucial to putting the fire out. Additionally, open hydrants at streets and intersections can create dangerous situations for pedestrians and drivers.”

“I urge everyone to refrain from opening fire hydrants during hot weather events. When residents open hydrants without permission it affects the integrity of the pressure in the water system and could result in interrupted service for all,” Awald said. “It also wastes a significant amount of water and conservation is critical to ensuring a steady supply for all residents and emergency services alike.”

Residents are encouraged to stay cool and visit local pools or spray features; the list of open sites can be found on the Parks and Recreation webpage. For questions or to report open hydrants residents can contact the Department of Water at (315) 448-8360.