When seconds count, snow burying a fire hydrant could mean the difference on whether or not firefighters can quickly get the upper hand on a blaze.
Hydrants typically stand between one and three feet above the ground, meaning that any major accumulation or snowdrift could easily leave the necessary water sources buried.
Fire departments across the country say it is always essential to have easy access to these hydrants if disaster strikes.
Firefighters say a blaze can double in size every 30 seconds, meaning that any hindrances along the way could slow their response.
After a significant snowfall, towns across the country usually put out a call for residents to help crews dig out the hydrants, but because of the usual hustle and bustle, these important messages go unheeded.
That’s why the community of Watertown, Massachusetts, decided it was time to try something new after the blizzard of 2022 buried their hydrants in feet of snow.
The town held a contest, encouraging residents to clear the suggested three-foot path around their hydrants, and the results were surprising.
Residents appeared to have fun doing the heavy lifting, and the town said they’ll even do challenges in the future based on the event's participation.
Officials suggest that if you want to help your local fire department freeing a hydrant from the snow, it’s best to shovel a path from the street to the pipe.
Once you’ve made it to the hydrant, you are advised to remove the snow and ice to make a perimeter of about three feet in all directions.
The clearance should give firefighters enough room to attach hoses to the spouts, with little hindrance from Mother Nature.