Typically, residents who already feel stressed by the normal challenges a snow or ice storm present, find it overwhelming to take that one extra step of clearing their hydrant. To help encourage them, communities are taking up the call of the local fire departments and getting behind the message that shoveling around a hydrant saves lives.
- "If you own, lease, rent, occupy or are in control of a property in the Town - except one or two-family dwellings - adjacent to a fire hydrant,
you are required under the Town Code to remove snow and ice
from around the hydrant for a distance of two feet,
and between the sidewalk and curb throughout the winter
within four hours after the snowfall has ended, except that the period between 9pm and 7am shall not be included in computing such requirements.
- Penalties up to a $350 fine and payment to the town for costs incurred to remove snow from non-compliant property owners will otherwise be incurred."
~ North Hempstead, NY Chapter 49 of the Town Code entitled
“Snow Removal, Snow Emergencies and Street Cleaning ”
Those minutes might not seem like a lot, but the rule of thumb for firefighters is that fire doubles in size every ten seconds. As demonstrated in the video shown above, it takes less than three minutes for a fully engulfed fire to completely destroy one room.
- Is it worth the time it takes to shovel out a hydrant - which will hopefully never be used in an emergency?
- Or is it better to gamble that in a true emergency, a snow-covered hydrant will eventually be located, and then shoveled out in three minutes - and it will all work out fine in the end?