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Keep Fire Hydrants Clear of Snow This Winter

November 16, 2012

Last week I had to get the snow blower out.  It’s that time of year again.  As the winter season continues we can get some large snow accumulations here in the Northwest.  One concern for us is what happens with that accumulation and how it impacts access to fire hydrants.

If fire hydrants get buried in the snow, we can’t find them nor can we access them for use as firefighting tools.  In a structure fire situation that translates into more fire damage while we try to find a fire hydrant to use.  Some people view that as the problem of the property owner where the hydrant sits.  Actually a fire hydrant is placed in a utility right-of-way to provide protection for a large number of homes.  Even if you don’t have a fire hydrant in your yard, the availability of the hydrant in your neighborhood is crucial to how well your home survives a fire.

Spokane County Fire District 9 covers about 122 square miles and we have almost 2200 fire hydrants scattered across that turf.  As hydrants get buried in snow, our troops will find some of them, but we need help.  Neighbors ensuring their area fire hydrants are uncovered during snowy weather helps ensure a faster response to fire.

Ultimately, if we have to respond to your neighborhood, we want to get our job done quickly and seconds count.  If you’ve already ensured the fire hydrants are clear and visible, that means those seconds can be used to rescue victims or suppress the fire.  That kind of prior planning will make a difference.

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