Residents urged to “adopt a fire hydrant” in anticipation of snow

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — When snow falls, a lot of people will clear their driveways and sidewalks, but they’ll forget fire hydrants on their block. But there is a program aimed at making sure firefighters can easily get to a hydrant in an emergency.

The last thing you want to see if your house goes up in flames is firefighters digging desperately to find a hydrant.

“The quicker they can adapt a hydrant, the faster they can fight fire,” said Fred Rogers, Southington Water Department.

The town sent out a letter, urging residents to adopt a hydrant. This way someone is responsible for clearing them, if the town can’t get to them, especially in residential areas. It’s a tall task, seeing as how Southington alone has more than 1,400 fire hydrants.

“But obviously with so many snow events in Connecticut in recent years, it’s difficult, so we ask residents adopt a hydrant close to their business or house” said Rogers.

It’s one of the biggest issues fire crews face every winter. It doesn’t take much for someone to forget a hydrant near their home. Especially if it’s buried.

“Our homeowner is our best ally in that case, in order to help us facilitate digging out that hydrant,” said Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi, Milford Fire Department.

Fabrizi says every second counts when there’s an emergency.

“It’s known that a fire can double in size every 30 seconds, so if you think about it, if we arrive on scene and we find a buried hydrant, we have to take that extra time to clear that hydrant in order to establish a water supply,” said Fabrizi. “That prevents us from getting to the scene to affect a rescue possibly or put out that fire.”

Fire fighters recommend when digging out the hydrant you leave an area roughly 2 to 3 feet. That will allow them to get in there and hook up any hoses if need be.

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