Installing fire hydrant locks may seem like a really bone-headed decision, but if you’re the Lavon Special Utility District, it’s just part of the job.
Yes, that’s right, Lavon Special really lived up to its name when it placed locks on all of the small Texas town’s fire hydrants.
Lavon Police Chief Mike Jones said that it’s a move he’s “never heard of,” a comment reiterated by the town’s Mayor and Fire Chief.
The three men said the water department had made the decision in order to “deter water theft,” in spite of the fact that no incidents of water theft have been reported to police.
Fire Chief Jon Scott also noted that the decision could slow his men down by anywhere “from 30 seconds to two minutes,” which in firefighting terms, could easily be the difference between life and death.
As a result, Statter 911 reports that Mayor Charles Teske has authorized the Lavon Fire Department to use bolt cutters and remove all of the locks before a situation arises where they’re actually needed.
To that, an unnamed utility employee told CBS 11 News that firefighters “probably shouldn’t do that” because it would be “destroying public property.” The employee also insisted that, “Somebody was taking water.”
“The fire department has two sets of keys to all the locks. We have not had any complaints.”
(Except, of course, for all the city officials mentioned above as well as numerous citizens, who’ve spoken with the press.)
Said Chief Scott about the keys: “We can’t be messing around looking for keys. We have to have access to our water supply.”
Randy Ross, a five-year resident of Lavon, said he worried about whether the fire hydrant locks would prevent quick assistance should his own home experience a fire.
“It’s kind of dangerous. I’d like to see it removed,” he said adding, “It’s strange. I’ve never seen it in any other place I’ve ever lived.”
Scott said the padlocks have “already resulted in a significant delay in putting out one fire,” CBS 11 reported, but for now, the Lavon Special Utility District is sticking to its guns.
This isn’t the first time we’ve told you about the public disrespecting the importance of fire hydrants. In April, we brought you the story of a BMW owner, who parked his car in front of one. When a fire broke out, the department actually smashed out his windows and ran the hose through the car in order to get the best water pressure.
In the case of the fire hydrant locks, bolt cutters should do just fine. What’s the dumbest thing your utility companies have ever done? Sound off in our comments section!
[Image via ShutterStock]