June 21, 2024
Property

Have a fire hydrant on your property? Remember these rules to keep them clear


(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — With the snow finally sticking and piling up for the season, it’s important to remember the laws and rules that come with having a fire hydrant on your property.

Fire code states homeowners are required to clear off any fire hydrants on their property along with at least 3 feet around said hydrant, including behind it.


When responding to an emergency, the few extra moments emergency crews use to clear out space around a fire hydrant can make a world of difference when fighting fires as it takes away manpower and adds time to establishing a water supply.

One firefighter from Fuller Hose Company in North East previously explained how time is incredibly important given how quickly fires can grow when no water is being applied.

“So the rule of thumb in firefighting doubles in size every minute that you’re not applying water. Do that calculation forwards or backwards just to show you how important time is,” said Chris Skrekla, Fuller Hose Company.

Back in 2019, the West Ridge Fire Department released a reminder to residents about this very concept, listing out what they called “3 rules for 3 feet.”

Rule #1 is access. When crews arrive at a scene, one person is responsible for hooking the pumper up to the nearest fire hydrant using different kinds of tools and adapters.

Rule #2 is room to work. While hooking the pump up to the hydrant, West Ridge Fire Department said it’s common for tools used to fall victim to gravity and get lost in the snow making the 3 feet around the hydrant important to avoid this.

Rule #3 is safety. The person responsible for hooking up the hydrant and tuning it on needs to stand behind the hydrant to stay safe. If any part of the hydrant isn’t secured properly or is damaged, it could blow off from the water pressure and injure someone.

A representative from the Millcreek Fire Department said while they don’t have a formal Adopt a Fire Hydrant program, they still ask residents to maintain a three-foot clearing around hydrants on their property.



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