Residents Urged To Clear Snow From Hydrants
After battling a house fire near downtown Bemidji Monday evening, the Bemidji Fire Department is reminding residents to clear snow away from fire hydrants.
According to a release from Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoeffer, “Wintery 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.”
The Fire Department says that 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.
Fire trucks carry a finite amount of water, so one of firefighters’ 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.
The Fire Department recommends clearing the area around the hydrant for easier access. By clearing an area three feet in all directions and a path to the street, it allows for quicker and safer access to the hydrant and allows the hydrant to be visible from the road so that firefighters can easily see it.
Building owners and/or occupants are encouraged to “adopt” a neighborhood hydrant and keep it clear of snow, says Chief Hoeffer. Consider helping elderly friends, neighbors or those with medical conditions keep their fire hydrants clear.