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Have You Noticed?

by Kenneth Feil

There’s something different in your neighborhood. They used to be there, now they’re gone. Look: It’s happening all around your town. There’s something missing—no, there’s a lot missing. What is it? Take a few minutes to look around at the fire hydrants in your neighborhood.

You say they look different. How so? Oh, the caps are gone! What happened to them?

Times are getting really tough for some folks—so tough that they’re stealing those caps and selling them for scrap metal. Those caps are made of brass and right now brass is in short supply, so the scrap price is high.

You may not think there’s any harm. Yes, the fire hydrants do look different and, yes, they should still work.

But do you know why those caps are there? They keep the threads and openings clean so that when there is an emergency the fire department can quickly connect their hoses and save your home. If the firefighters had to stop to clean the threads and the openings before they connected the fire hose and turned it on…well, that would really slow them down in putting out a fire. And if it was your house on fire, wouldn’t you want them to put the fire out quickly?

Your local fire department takes care of those fire hydrants and they could really use your help. When you see a fire hydrant with a cap missing give them a call on their business line. If you see someone taking caps, don’t approach them. Try to get a license number and a description of the vehicle and the person(s). Then call the police and the local fire agency.

Remember, DON’T call 911; this isn’t an emergency. Find the telephone number to your local fire department from the list below.

City of Belvedere 435-7200
Town of Corte Madera   927-5077
Town of Fairfax 258-4686
City of Larkspur 927-5110
City of Mill Valley 389-4130
Town of Ross 453-1453
Town of San Anselmo 258-4686
City of San Rafael 485-3488
City of Sausalito 388-8182
Town of Tiburon 435-7200
County of Marin 499-6717

Thanks for your help.

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