DIG IT OUT!
Why It Matters
In an emergency, every second counts. Fire hydrants that are blocked, concealed, or difficult to access due to snow, ice, or landscaping can and will impede emergency fire response.
Fire trucks carry a limited amount of water, so one of the first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant. Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time doing what really matters – fighting the fire.
How to Keep Fire Hydrants Clear
Remove snow and debris that covers the hydrant. City ordinance requires a clear 3-foot perimeter around the hydrant. This will help us with accessing the hydrant to connect hoses and operate the hydrant, it will also give our hoses enough area to charge and prevent hose kinking which greatly reduces water supply.
We also suggest maintaining a shoveled path from the street, sidewalk or driveway to the fire hydrant so that it is visible from the road and firefighters can easily access it.
Who Should Clear Hydrants
The City of Apple Valley does not have staff assigned or available to clear hydrants as there are more than 2500 hydrants throughout the City. We ask and encourage all neighbors and business owners to work together to maintain a 3-foot clearance around each hydrant year-round. In the case of multi-family communities (townhomes, condominiums, apartments, etc.), it is the management’s responsibility to ensure that hydrants remain clear and ready for use.
Fire code and city ordinance have requirements to ensure the safety of the public 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.