Editorial: Keep fire hydrants accessibleAfter the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 and its 20 1/2 inches of snow, probably the last thing anyone would want to do is go out and shovel.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
After the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 and its 20 1/2 inches of snow, probably the last thing anyone would want to do is go out and shovel.
If you live near a fire hydrant, however, you should do just that.
Water, of course, is used by any fire department to control and extinguish fires, and pre-connected “attack lines” are capable of flowing large quantities of gallons each minute. That’s why quick access to hydrants is so important — it can make a difference between injury or death, as well as the amount of property damaged sustained.
Though there is no shortage of snow around the region, a group effort can make clearing the area around a fire hydrant a not-terribly-time-consuming task. And, if there should be a fire hydrant near the home of someone elderly or with a medical condition, it should probably go without saying that neighbors should do that person a favor.
A notice from the Town of Dedham, Mass., found on the Internet suggests that fire hydrants be cleared about 4 feet in front of the hydrant “in order to fit Firefighting Appliances onto it” and 2 to 3 feet on either side of the hydrant. Snow should also be removed from the outlet caps “so that the caps won’t be frozen on.”
With winter conditions sometimes making it difficult for firefighters to reach destinations quickly, we should all help by making their job easier when it matters most.