Fire Hydrant Warning

Nearly 2 Dozen Hydrants Tampered With in Milwaukee


by Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE-City officials are out with an annual warning about the dangers of opening fire hydrants.

It is dangerous and against the law to open fire hydrants without permission. Milwaukee city officials today warned of the hazards of illegally opening hydrants as hot temperatures are predicted for the next few days. City Public Works, Health, Fire, Police, and Milwaukee Public Schools offered alternative ways to cool off.

Illegally opening fire hydrants causes water pressure to drop, making it difficult to put out a fire. When untrained persons with the wrong tools open hydrants, the hydrants do not function properly and must be repaired. Only the Fire Department, the Milwaukee Water Works, and specially permitted projects are allowed to open hydrants.

To date this year, 23 hydrants have been opened illegally in Milwaukee.

Breaking open a hydrant makes it unusable to put out a fire
Lowers water pressure and hampers firefighting
Strong spray hazardous to children and motorists may not see them in the spray
Spray obstructs the view of motorists and can cause accidents

It's a Crime -- $1,000 fine or 30 days in jail for tampering with a hydrant

Report Tampering and Illegal Opening -- Call (414) 286-3710

Costly to all Water Users
· Hydrant open one hour = cost to city $227
· Hydrant open four hours = cost to city $883
· Damaged hydrant = $850
· Broken hydrant = $3500
· Loss of a precious resource, water
· Buildings are flooded = property damage

Alternatives for Keeping Cool

Cool Spots provide a place to cool off in a water spray on hot summer days. Cool Spot sprinklers are staffed by Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Community Recreation staff on selected school playgrounds.

Cool Spots are open on days when the temperature is predicted to be 85 degrees or hotter.

Auer Avenue, 2721 W. Auer. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Carmen Playfield, 7320 W. Carmen. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Columbia Playground, 1354 W. Columbia. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Franklin Square, 2643 N. 13th St. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Green Bay Ave. School, 3872 N. 8th St. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Starms Discovery School, 2035 N. 25th. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m., June 18-Aug. 10
Gwen T. Jackson School (formerly 21st St. School), 2121 W. Hadley. Open Mon.-Fri., 1 p.m.-6 p.m.,
June 18-Aug. 10

Cool off in a Milwaukee County pool or water park -- 24-hour Pool Hotline (414) 257-7230 or see

Turn on a hose and sprinkler in your backyard and invite the neighbors to come over and cool off.

For more summer playground information, see

The Milwaukee Health Department reminds people to keep cool and use common sense during extended periods of hot weather. Persons at greatest risk for heat-related illness are infants and very young children, persons over 65 years of age, persons who are overweight or obese, and persons who take certain medications including drugs for mental health.

Drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen, pace yourself, stay cool indoors, schedule outdoor activities carefully. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool.

Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness. Consider visiting a shopping mall or public library for a few hours. Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
For information about heat-related medical conditions, see


Should employers be able to ask applicants for social media log in information?

  • Yes
  • No