“Their actions can have a knock-on effect, potentially causing incidents of water discolouration or even temporary loss of supply.” She said the firm had a 100 per cent successful prosecution rate, with offenders receiving a maximum £1,000 per offence plus legal costs. Businesses are required to use a standpipe on a fire hydrant which is no more than an inch in diameter, anything bigger can damage the attachment on the hydrant, much like a screw with a worn thread. Yorkshire Water is now working with Bradford businesses to ensure regulations are met. Mike Cartwright, spokesman for Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “Taking water without consent from hydrants and standpipes can have severe consequences on both individuals and communities.”
Ian Bitcon, senior operations officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said fire hydrants provide back up to appliances during major incidents. “Our front-line appliances carry adequate water to deal with the early stages of fire and to extinguish most fires but we rely on hydrants to support our work,” he said. “Anyone interfering with or vandalising a hydrant is putting lives directly at risk.” Members of the public should report any instances where they suspect illegal use of the water supply to contact Yorkshire Water on (01274) 804457. Businesses wishing to know more about the regulations can also call this number. A licence costs £554.96 a year or £1.46 a day.
Hanson says she got this letter in may after making a payment to renew her policy. She was stunned that it was explaining the reasons for cancellation. The one paragraph letter says, "Peeling paint on all portions of the dwelling. Overgrown vegetation…peeling paint on garage siding, window sills missing paint." Hanson explained work is being done to fix it. “If you look around you will see that most of the paint is on the ground here because we've been power washing,” says Hanson. “I'm getting rid of this, all the grass, going to a zero-scape so this is all covered to kill any of the grass that was left.”Hanson’s insurance agent is out of town but did say on the phone they do give advanced warning when cancelling a policy. He said he will re-instate Hanson when the fixes are made and find her other coverage in the meantime. Brad Tibbitts with the Utah Insurance Department says he’s heard of cases like this but they’re uncommon. “The insurance companies have the right to find out whether or not the house is in good enough shape to be eligible for the premium rates,” says Tibbitts. He says they have to give a client 30 days notice before cancellation. Homeowners are not required to notify their insurance companies before remodeling or upgrade work but it's not a bad idea.