NORTH LIBERTY — It’s become routine: dig out the driveway and shovel off the sidewalk. But what about the fire hydrant in your yard?
For firefighters, every second counts when responding to a fire. Traffic and slick or snow-covered roads make getting to the scene difficult enough. Add trying to find a fire hydrant to provide a water supply to the pumper, and you include a potentially deadly outcome for somebody trapped inside a burning structure.
While pumpers have an onboard supply of water, it only provides a few minutes of firefighting capability. With buried hydrants, firefighters have to spend valuable time trying to dig-out the fire plug enough that hose can be connected to it. For firefighters inside the burning building, running out of water as the truck’s tank empties can be deadly.
It is recommended to have at least a three-foot clearance on all sides of your fire hydrant. Firefighters urge residents to use caution in digging out the hydrants, by avoiding standing in the street and taking care not to slip and fall into traffic.