This is a great reminder that I came across on the Nextdoor app and one that we haven't really had much of a reason to remember this winter.

Remember to shovel the snow out from around the nearest fire hydrant you have.  See, a reminder that's easy to forget, but it does two things A) the fire department can find the hydrants quickly as they're trying to fight a fire. B) they can quickly access this important tool and hook up hoses if they are fighting a fire nearby.

Fire departments in cities and townships where it snows usually ask residents for their help, with some communities even asking residents to "Adopt a Fire Hydrant" and then make sure all winter long it's easily accessible in case of an emergency. They also all ask that snow is shoveled three feet from the hydrant in all directions and that there is a clear path from the hydrant to the street.

While I was trying to find out the official recommendations of how much to dig out, which I posted above,  I came across a story regarding this issue in Grand Island, NY, and the Fire Chief, Mark Sadowski, told the local news station there,

"During fire emergencies, firefighters should not have to locate and dig out ‘hidden’ hydrants to gain a ready-water supply for on-scene apparatus. Any time taken away from actual firefighting operations could prove to be costly in terms of property damage or rescue efforts."

Which is true there, here, or anywhere.

Even though the snow may be gone in a couple of days or a week, it's still important to make sure the fire hydrant stays shoveled and clear of snow. House fires don't usually wait until the snow is gone and the weather is perfect to happen. So as the fire departments say, "the life your saving, could be your own."

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