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Thread: Fire Hydrant Signs - consultation

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Fire Hydrant Signs - consultation

    Groundspeak received a complaint about a fake Fire Hydrant sign in South Wales from the local Fire Service. The Fire Service have asked that no more fake Fire Hydrant signs are put up which they consider to be a safety risk.

    We understand that Groundspeak are now not allowing fake Fire Hydrant signs in that area and we have suggested that this is added to their wiki.

    We have been asked to consider a new guideline to cover fake Fire Hydrant signs so we are now running a consultation with UK cachers and any listing sites who wish to contribute and take an active part. This consultation period will run to Saturday 3rd December. Folowing this period we will consider our next steps.

    Please post your views here.

    Last edited by DrDick&Vick; 26th November 2011 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Corrected date as per Alan White's comment

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    I would fully agree Wombles.
    My father in law is a fire hydrant technician with the fire service and they take these things very seriously. It may not be completely obvious looking at a yellow square with an H on it but they save lives.
    If there is an emergency and the fire service are looking for a hydrant only to find out that it is not a real hydrant then the consequences could be fatal.

    I would fully support a ban on fake hydrants. However, I would not see an issue if a cache is hidden behind a real hydrant as long as the information on the sign is not altered in any way.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    As above!
    NO fake signs, in a 'Safety situation' should be used.
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  4. Default



    I'm amazed that anybody would actually consider producing a fake sign in the first place - the implications are obvious !






    Life is too important to take seriously !

  5. #5

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    I agree, it is obvious that fake hydrants should not be allowed.

  6. #6

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    As this is a national safety issue it should be a rule rather than a guideline. I hope other organisations agree. I'm sure that all cachers can be agreed on this one
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    As this is a national safety issue it should be a rule rather than a guideline. I hope other organisations agree. I'm sure that all cachers can be agreed on this one
    +1

  8. #8
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    We understand that Groundspeak are now not allowing fake Fire Hydrant signs in that area...
    So its fine to place one outside this area hmy:hmy:hmy:hmy:


    I'm no legal eagle but I'd be surprised if creating fake signs of this nature was not already against the law.

    Adding something specific to the current guidelines such as a fire hydrant sign could risk creating a massive set of guidelines over the long term which nobody will be bothered to read. I think something more general covering health and safety might be more appropriate maybe including this as an example. It should go without saying the wording will need careful construction, it's also worth considering how this could adversely effect some of the excellent hides which already in place.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predictable Bob View Post


    I'm amazed that anybody would actually consider producing a fake sign in the first place - the implications are obvious !

    I'm with you there, Bob.
    GAGB Member since 2009
    UK Mega West Mids Committee - Treasurer 2011 - 2013
    GAGB Committee - Treasurer 2016 -

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ve8 View Post
    So its fine to place one outside this area hmy:hmy:hmy:hmy:


    I'm no legal eagle but I'd be surprised if creating fake signs of this nature was not already against the law.

    Adding something specific to the current guidelines such as a fire hydrant sign could risk creating a massive set of guidelines over the long term which nobody will be bothered to read. I think something more general covering health and safety might be more appropriate maybe including this as an example. It should go without saying the wording will need careful construction, it's also worth considering how this could adversely effect some of the excellent hides which already in place.
    Agree.
    I was thinking that there must be other similar senarios that should also be included. this suggestion should hopefully cover this.

  11. #11
    Alan White Guest

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    I thought that fire hydrants were some things they have in the United States: pillars on the sidewalk for the fire service to plug hoses into. I wasn't aware that we have similar things in this country and have always assumed that the yellow H signs were information for water service employees so they could find stop valves. I would hope that the fire service knows where to obtain water. I find it hard to believe that the first thing firemen do when arriving at a fire is to hunt around for a yellow H: surely the water mains and hydrants are mapped? I've not heard of any other fire hydrant caches and therefore I believe that this particular case is an isolated incident which requires no futher action. History shows that laws made quickly or in response to only a few incidents are rarely good laws.

    One of the reasons why I don't like GAGB is their rule-bound ethos and whenever there's an incident there's immediately a knee-jerk reaction of a new rule. In general, I'm not in favour of rules in what is supposed to be just a bit of harmless fun. I do applaud GAGB for asking first, though the reply-by date seems to have passed already. Of course, any GAGB rule applies only to its members and the members of any listing site which chooses to adopt it.

    From what I've read, the water hydrants are owned by the water company and their use is governed by licence. However, fake water hydrants are neither owned by the water company nor licensed. I haven't been able to find anything on the legality of imitating a water hydrant and unless there is such a law then the fire service can't demand that caches not use fake hydrants. Conversely, if there is such a law then there's no need for a GAGB rule.

    It seems that the concern in this case is that non-cachers may be placed at risk by firemen wasting time looking for the hydrant which is pointed to by a fake sign. Aside from my belief that firemen should know where to find water the obvious solution therefore would have been to use values which are meaningless. But anyway, what about caches under water, under bridges, and on mountains or cliffs? Such caches also place the public and the rescue services in danger because if the cacher gets into trouble then a passing non-cacher may try to help, or the mountain rescue service may be called thus placing them - and others who may need their help - at risk. Are we to ban caches because they're "dangerous", however that's defined?

    If these fire hydrants were as important as this issue suggests then they'd be much better protected in statute. Everyone in the US knows what a fire hydrant is and that it's against the law to park near one. I'm not aware of any similar rule in this country and I doubt that many people equate yellow Hs with fire hydrant.

    However, if there must be a rule then it has to be sufficiently broad and vague to ensure that there doesn't need to be a rule for every particular issue. Something like:
    "Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. For example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake fire hydrant could endanger others and such hides are best avoided."

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    I thought that fire hydrants were some things they have in the United States: pillars on the sidewalk for the fire service to plug hoses into. I wasn't aware that we have similar things in this country and have always assumed that the yellow H signs were information for water service employees so they could find stop valves. I would hope that the fire service knows where to obtain water. I find it hard to believe that the first thing firemen do when arriving at a fire is to hunt around for a yellow H: surely the water mains and hydrants are mapped? I've not heard of any other fire hydrant caches and therefore I believe that this particular case is an isolated incident which requires no futher action. History shows that laws made quickly or in response to only a few incidents are rarely good laws.

    One of the reasons why I don't like GAGB is their rule-bound ethos and whenever there's an incident there's immediately a knee-jerk reaction of a new rule. In general, I'm not in favour of rules in what is supposed to be just a bit of harmless fun. I do applaud GAGB for asking first, though the reply-by date seems to have passed already. Of course, any GAGB rule applies only to its members and the members of any listing site which chooses to adopt it.

    From what I've read, the water hydrants are owned by the water company and their use is governed by licence. However, fake water hydrants are neither owned by the water company nor licensed. I haven't been able to find anything on the legality of imitating a water hydrant and unless there is such a law then the fire service can't demand that caches not use fake hydrants. Conversely, if there is such a law then there's no need for a GAGB rule.

    It seems that the concern in this case is that non-cachers may be placed at risk by firemen wasting time looking for the hydrant which is pointed to by a fake sign. Aside from my belief that firemen should know where to find water the obvious solution therefore would have been to use values which are meaningless. But anyway, what about caches under water, under bridges, and on mountains or cliffs? Such caches also place the public and the rescue services in danger because if the cacher gets into trouble then a passing non-cacher may try to help, or the mountain rescue service may be called thus placing them - and others who may need their help - at risk. Are we to ban caches because they're "dangerous", however that's defined?

    If these fire hydrants were as important as this issue suggests then they'd be much better protected in statute. Everyone in the US knows what a fire hydrant is and that it's against the law to park near one. I'm not aware of any similar rule in this country and I doubt that many people equate yellow Hs with fire hydrant.

    However, if there must be a rule then it has to be sufficiently broad and vague to ensure that there doesn't need to be a rule for every particular issue. Something like:
    "Imaginative and innovative hides greatly enhance geocaching by adding to its variety and such hides are encouraged. However, do give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the hiding place, particularly with regard to the safety of non-cachers. For example, a cache hidden on or inside a fake gas valve or fake fire hydrant could endanger others and such hides are best avoided."
    Part of the consultation is to see if we even need a new guideline.

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    If these fire hydrants were as important as this issue suggests then they'd be much better protected in statute. Everyone in the US knows what a fire hydrant is and that it's against the law to park near one. I'm not aware of any similar rule in this country and I doubt that many people equate yellow Hs with fire hydrant.



    One google later ...

    A person commits an offence if he / she damages or obstructs a fire hydrant, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 500 (Fire and Rescue Services Act Section 42).







    Life is too important to take seriously !

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    I find it hard to believe that the first thing firemen do when arriving at a fire is to hunt around for a yellow H
    But....that's exactly what they do, after exhausting their water onboard.

  15. #15
    Alan White Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predictable Bob View Post
    A person commits an offence if he / she damages or obstructs a fire hydrant, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 500 (Fire and Rescue Services Act Section 42).
    Thanks for that - I did try, honest. Still, it's quite a recent Act and such things are rarely well publicised. Even the Highway Code doesn't make reference to it, except to say "Do not stop or park...Anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services", and I take that to mean access gates etc rather than hydrants.

    However, the important point is that a fake fire hydrant sign does not "damage or obstruct a fire hydrant".

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