Officials remind community to keep fire hydrants clear of snow | PostIndependent.com

Officials remind community to keep fire hydrants clear of snow

Obstructed hydrants can delay emergency response

Staff report
Vail Daily
With more than 2,000 fire hydrants in the water distribution system, district crews and contractors work to clear priority areas. (Photo by Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, 2016)

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District in a news release is reminding community members that fire hydrants are essential to public safety and must be kept clear of obstructions, including snow.

With more than 2,000 fire hydrants in the water distribution system, district crews and contractors work to clear priority areas. The first hydrants to be cleared are located near hospitals, schools and high occupancy properties, such as hotels, due to the associated risk.

Hydrants must be readily accessible to firefighters. To operate a hydrant, fire crews need 7 feet to each side and a minimum of 4 feet to the back and 10 feet to the front of all fire hydrants. Once a hydrant is cleared, the space must be maintained per district regulations. Other activities may not fill in the cleared area. Fire service personnel warn that taking time to find and dig out a fire hydrant can cost firefighters precious time and diminish efforts to effectively get water on a fire.

The district appreciates the voluntary efforts of residents who clear their neighborhood fire hydrant of snow. Even a small walkway to a hydrant makes a difference until crews can clear a larger area.