Fire hydrants must have unobstructed access and clear space at all times.
Why It Matters
In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed, or difficult to access due to snow, ice, trees and flowers can and will impede emergency fire response.
Fire trucks carry a limited amount of water, so a first task upon arriving at a fire is to locate a hydrant for water supply. Keeping fire hydrants clear means easier access to water and more time doing what really matters – fighting the fire. Hydrants that are obstructed or hidden by snow or landscaping cause delays.
Who Clears and Maintains the Fire Hydrants?
All business owners, tenants, residents and multi-family communities (HOA, townhomes, condos, and apartments) are asked to work together to maintain the 3-foot clearance around every hydrant, all year round. Without your help, the hydrants will become obstructed by snow, ice, and foliage.
Apple Valley Public Works tests and maintains the operation of the city’s 2600-plus hydrants. This is done every spring, by opening the hydrant and flushing the water through.
Fire code and city ordinance have requirements to ensure the safety of the public, city staff and firefighters.
MSFC 507.5.4 Obstruction Unobstructed access to fire hydrants shall be maintained at all times. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants.
MSFC 507.5.5 Clear Space Around Hydrants A 3-foot (914 mm) clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants.