Importance On Clearing The Fire Hydrants
With the recent snow in our area it is time to remind everyone that it is extremely important to clean your nearby fire hydrants in your neighborhood. It is important for several reasons. But the most important reason is it saves precious minutes on having the local fire department having to clear out the fire hydrant to battle the fire.
If it is cleared out, the FD can pull up, hook up and fight the fire.
If it is not, the FD can pull up, get out, look for a shovel, look for the fire hydrant, clear the fire hydrant, hook up, then fight the fire.
See, There is a big difference in precious time. And in an emergency seconds are precious. And minutes can be fatal. So we ask that you take the time to go out and clear your nearby fire hydrants.
In the video above, Admin Will did an awesome job on videoing him clearing his local fire hydrant. Be sure to take a minute and watch it. And don’t forget to share it! Below are some articles online that will provide some extra information.
When winter is at its coldest, you may want to spend most of your time inside. However, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening outdoors, too. Wintry weather can create fire safety hazards, such as ice or heavy snowfall that can obstruct fire hydrants. You can help reduce the risk by keeping nearby fire hydrants accessible and clear of ice and snow, says the U.S. Fire Administration.
Why It Matters
In an emergency, every second matters. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed or difficult to access due to snow or ice can impede emergency fire response, say officials in cities accustomed to heavy snowfall, such as Minneapolis-St.Paul.
Fire trucks carry a finite amount of water, so one of responders’ first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant. Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time needed during a fire fight. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time doing what really matters — fighting the fire.
How to Keep Fire Hydrants Clear
The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, also suggests maintaining a shoveled path from the street or driveway to the fire hydrant so that it is visible from the road and firefighters can easily access it.
Who Should Clear Hydrants?
Although there are few hard and fast rules concerning who should clear hydrants, it’s generally considered the responsibility of the residents occupying property near a hydrant. Consider the following:
- Some cities, such as Poughkeepsie, New York, impose fines upon owners or lessees of properties that front hydrants for failure to keep them free of snow and obstruction.
- Even cities with heavy annual snowfall, such as Minneapolis, often have only small crews available for clearing snow from fire hydrants, says NBC News, so it’s important to take matters into your own hands to help keep hydrants clear.
- The owners or occupants of rental apartment complexes or buildings may be responsible for keeping hydrants on or fronting their properties clear, such as in New Rochelle, New York. Regulations vary from city to city; check with your local government to learn of any regulations that may pertain to you.
- Consider helping elderly friends, neighbors or those with medical conditions keep their fire hydrants clear.
The winter can be a time for enjoying the great indoors with friends and family. Help keep your home safe from winter fire hazards by ensuring your fire hydrants are clear and readily accessible in an emergency. Credit Allstate
In the winter months, it’s especially important to be conscious of how snow-covered fire hydrants can delay fire services, costing crucial seconds or minutes that can mean the difference between saving a structure and its inhabitants and not doing so.
The Boston Globe reported last winter that the city’s fire department was deploying teams of fire fighters to dig out hydrants covered by the city’s record snow fall. According to the article, a hydrant needs about a foot of space below its valve, and another two feet of space all around it. This space allows fire fighters to attach hoses to the valve and rotate the hydrant wrench.
As Lieutenant Kevin Jordan of the Boston Fire Department explained to the Globe, a fire engine holds about two to five minutes’ worth of water. When that is used up, hydrants become indispensable, as every passing second allows a fire to grow.
In 2013, a fire destroyed a Boston home when firefighters were delayed by a hydrant obstructed by snow. In contrast, this past winter a New Hampshire home was saved because a neighbor cleared the hydrant off before fire services arrived.
In many regions of the country, shoveling out fire hydrants become a necessity during the winter. While property owners are legally obligated to clear their sidewalks, no such regulations govern the clearing of hydrants. It’s important, then, that private citizens do their part by clearing snow away from hydrants in a timely manner. The app Adopt-a-Hydrant allows community members to take responsibility for clearing off specific hydrants in their area. The work of just a few minutes might later prove to be vital to the safety of you or your neighbors!