General Question

Poser's avatar

Is it legal for firefighters to break your car window if you park in front of a fire hydrant?

Asked by Poser (7800points) May 22nd, 2011

You know, like in Backdraft?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

After a search of US police forum the consensus seems to be it is legal and your car is likely to be towed afterward.

augustlan's avatar

I’m almost certain it is legal for them to damage property in the course of trying to save other property and/or lives.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Not only can they break into it, they can push it out of the way with force.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Which begs the question, why would anyone park in front of a fire hydrant?

jaytkay's avatar

why would anyone park in front of a fire hydrant?

In a neighborhood where you have to drive around and around, in hopes of finding a place within a half mile of your destination, there is temptation.

YoBob's avatar

It is legal for them to get the jaws of life and cut your car into little pieces of shrapnel and wash it into nearest drain pipe if it is blocking access to a fire hydrant.

It amazes me how many self centered people simply don’t get the fact that their desire to park their car is much less important than the ability of an emergency crew to be able to quickly access the facilities put in place that allow them to do their job of saving lives, not to mention keeping fires from sweeping across entire neighborhoods/cities.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@jaytkay Perhaps. I’d be too worried about the consequences for it to be a reasonable option, much less a temptation.

jaytkay's avatar

@SABOTEUR Mostly people agree with you, I rarely see cars parked in front of hydrants, I don’t recall the last time I saw it, excepting a delivery vehicle stopping for a minute or two.

Poser's avatar

Just for clarity, I don’t park in front of hydrants. This question came from a conversation I just had. Didn’t know if the Backdraft scene was based in reality or not. And while it seems the consensus is that it is acceptable, my question is, is it legal? If not, you’d probably have a difficult time getting anything out of the city in court. Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of any legal precedent.

tranquilsea's avatar

It is legal in Canada. I know because my family is good friends with a now retired Fire Chief. I’ve heard many stories of him having to bust through car windows to get to a hydrant. On top of the not being able to claim the damage the owner of the vehicle gets a hefty fine.

dabbler's avatar

My first response to this question was : I hope so.
And I’m glad reading answers that confirm that.

augustlan's avatar

My grandfather was the president of our local fire company, my uncle was the fire chief, and is now the chief safety whateverheisnowguy. I got my information from them, so I assume they’re correct that it’s entirely legal. I’ll try to find a link to back it up.

woodcutter's avatar

They can and will do it and they will thoroughly enjoy doing it.

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