THE fire service is reminding residents about obstructive parking.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service wants drivers to know what a fire hydrant looks like.

These water points are underground but above ground they are marked by a yellow sign with a black ‘H’ symbol, a yellow fire hydrant cover in the ground with ‘FH’ on it or a yellow line on the kerb.

Parking too close or over fire hydrants is illegal and drivers could be convicted and fined for parking over them so look out for them.

Station Manager, Martyn Hare, said: “When we are called to an emergency we want to get there as quickly as possible, but so often we are delayed because we can’t get our fire engine through roads blocked with cars.

“We have to either slow down to get through small gaps or turn around and find a different route. All this adds vital minutes to our journey, which can be the difference between life and death.

“People are also parking over fire hydrants which means our nearest supply of water is blocked and the next nearest hydrant could be several roads away.

"In the event of a fire, it is paramount that firefighters have access to water supplies quickly and there is no delay in getting our water supply established.

“We appreciate that people want to park outside their homes and aren’t doing it deliberately, but they have to help us help them.

“We are asking residents to consider whether their parking could be putting lives at risk”.

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