Baltimore’s Non-Working Fire Hydrants

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Great, another thing to worry about.

When a house in your neighborhood bursts into flame, firefighters will likely zoom on in, hook a hose up to a fire hydrant, and blast away. But what if the fire hydrant isn’t functional?

Non-functioning fire hydrants are more common than you may expect, according to a WBAL investigation into Baltimore’s hydrant repair backlog. When the station first began asking about the dormant hydrants, there was a backlog of more than 800 in need of repair throughout the city and county; at this point, that number has shrunk to about 300–which is still alarming. Many of the non-working hydrants have been out of commission for months.

Other cities face similar issues with their firefighting infrastructure. Last year, a home in Detroit burned down after firefighters had to travel blocks away to find a functioning hydrant.

Representatives from the city’s Department of Public Works said that they’re working on the backlog, and that hydrants near schools, hospitals, and other places are the first priority for repairs.



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