WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 27, 2010, 05:14 PM

Firefighters Urging Homeowners To Clean Off Fire Hydrants

We clean our driveways and sidewalks after snowfall. But some homeowners forget to clear around a major area that could save lives.

We clean our driveways and sidewalks after snowfall..

But some homeowners forget to clear around a major area that could save lives..

Fire hydrants.

Now, firefighters are urging people to do so before a possible significant storm this week.

As more snows falls...the banks get deeper and deeper.

"The snow melts, freezes, melts freezes. Well, then you could end up with ice around there." Captain Rick Aamot of the Grand Forks Fire Department said.

Fire hydrants that could save your home or even your life have been buried in the snow we've received lately.

In a fire situation every second counts and clearing your fire hydrant can help firefighters with response time.

"For one we can find them easier and two, access to that hydrant. If it's already shoveled out we don't have to do that when we get to a fire." Aamot said.

Firefighters say they receive more calls during the winter months because of the use of portable heaters and candles. Anything getting them on the scene faster helps.

"It could take an extra minute and if you see a fire grow, in a minutes time, it's huge." Aamot said.

"If we've got crews inside and we got delays in the time they get water, we're going to be putting our firefighters at risk." Captain Bruce Anderson of the Fargo Fire Department said.

Grand Forks homeowner Gary Hoeft has lived in the same house for 30 years,and has a hydrant on his property.

"I generally do the fire hydrant just to....It seems like for safety for the whole area it would be a good idea to have it clean." homeowner Gary Hoeft said.

With just a couple extra minutes of shoveling...you too can help keep your neighborhood safe.

"As long as we can see those hydrants when we're pulling up to the address and we have access to those hydrants. That's just really key all winter long." Aamot said.

Firefighters in both communities say the ice and snow already can delay response times, so clearing your hydrant can really help.