MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Virginia Street fire hydrant with overgrown vegetation raised a News 5 viewer’s concern about the fixture’s effectiveness.

So, we asked the Mobile Fire Rescue Department if residents should be alarmed when they see similar situations around the city.

First, Jeff Haller, the MFRD’s publication information officer, said, the department can cut any vegetation around the hydrant, and it wouldn’t significantly delay firefighters from battling a blaze.

So, while the overgrown vegetation can look unappealing, it doesn’t cause the fire hydrant to malfunction, News 5 learned.

Second, he said, 12,000 fire hydrants line Mobile’s streets, and MFRD inspects fire hydrants once every calendar year. During these inspections, firefighters test the hydrant’s water pressure for optimal performance.

Due to minimal maintenance checks, Mobile residents can help keep fire hydrants looking their best.

If a fire hydrant outside your home has vegetation surrounding it, you can take action and cut the weeds around it yourself, Haller said.

Another option is to call the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System, which will file a ticket to come out and cut it.

MAWSS’ number is 251-694-3100.

What is the purpose of a fire hydrant?

A fire hydrant allows firefighters to tap into a water supply to extinguish fires. This is especially helpful during significant events, such as wildfires, which may require tapping into several fire hydrants.