Keep hydrants accessible

February 17, 2021 01:16 PM
Winter is at its worst, tempting us to spend more of our time inside. However, it is important to keep an eye on what's happening outside too. Winter 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 fire hydrants accessible to GFD by removing ice and snow.
In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, hidden by snow or difficult to access due to snow or ice can and will impede emergency fire response.
Fire trucks carry a limited amount of water. One of the first tasks prior to arriving at a fire is to locate water supply options from the nearest hydrants. Hydrants covered in snow can be very difficult to locate. Uncovering them can waste valuable time needed to fight the fire. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time doing what really matters - fighting the fire and saving lives!
In addition to removing snow and debris covering the hydrant itself, Galesburg Fire recommends clearing a 3 foot area around the hydrant. This will help us with accessing the hydrant to connect hoses and operate the hydrant. Three feet will give the hoses enough area to charge and prevent kinking (which could greatly reduce water supply). The GFD also suggests maintaining a shoveled path from the street, sidewalk or driveway to the fire hydrant so that it is visible from the road and firefighters can easily access it.
Although there are no hard and fast rules concerning who should clear hydrants, it is generally considered the responsibility of the resident occupying the property the hydrant is on or nearest to. Please consider helping elderly friends, neighbors or those with medical conditions to keep their fire hydrants clear. The winter can be a time for enjoying both the great outdoors and 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.


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