To put it simply, plastic pipes can make our jobs harder.
As we enter the holiday season, thoughts of fire safety are generally not dancing in the heads of most revelers. Hazards apparent and hidden abound. Christmas trees are beautiful when lit, but if they are not properly watered, they can become dry-tinder and can easily ignite. We laugh at the scene in “A Christmas Story” of the father jamming one more plug into the overloaded socket but in reality, that is not a laughing matter.
There are a lot more dangers than tree kindling, unfortunately. To stay warm disadvantaged families without heat resort to using unsafe space heaters or an open oven. As a retired firefighter and advocate for fire safety, I can tell you firsthand of the helplessness of responding to a house fire and not having an adequate water supply or pressure because underground pipes are frozen or cracked. Watching a home burn under those circumstances is heartbreaking.
As municipal budgets tighten, lawmakers and managers have to make hard decisions. Regrettably, lower-cost options frequently prevail over public safety. Currently, an aggressive effort is underway to use unreliable and unhealthy plastic for underground piping instead of iron or steel.