BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN  – The government has suffered a loss $200,000 in damaged fire hydrants as more than 500 across Brunei-Muara were subjected to vandalism and theft, according to a joint statement by the Fire and Rescue Department and the Public Works Department (PWD).

“[After conducting] fire hydrant inspections in a number of areas in the Brunei-Muara district, what we discovered was concerning as more than 566 fire hydrants were missing outlet couplings,” the statement read.

A majority of the fire hydrant couplings — a connector for hoses to be attached — were found to be either damaged, missing or stolen.

The statement added that tampered or damaged fire hydrants will not only inconvenience residents during bouts of water disruptions, it may also prove to be dangerous as it may also interrupt efforts of the Fire and Rescue Department in the event of a fire.

According to the Royal Brunei Police Force, as of March this year, 16 cases of theft involving fire hydrants were reported to the police, however, no arrests were made.

The Fire and Rescue department reminded the public to report any suspicious activities that may involve the vandalism or theft of fire hydrant components to the RBPF at 993. Members of the public are also urged to contact 995 and the Darussalam Hotline at 123 should they find any damaged fire hydrants or open burning activities.