Winter Safety Measure: Clearing Fire Hydrants

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: December 12, 2019 07:32 PM

With snow continuing to pile up and temperatures dropping, it’s important to stay on top of clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways, and especially fire hydrants. This is crucial for firefighters responding to an emergency.


Every second matters in an emergency. Firefighters say during the winter, their job is even more challenging with snow, ice and brutally cold conditions.

If you live near a hydrant, clear the path. Keep snow and ice three feet away from the fire hydrants. Delaying firefighting efforts by not clearing them, can be deadly.

Duluth Fire Marshal Sandy McComb said 100 hydrants are assigned to every rig on every shift.

Although they try to clear as many of them on the job, that's a lot for them to look over. That's why they ask residents to help. 

“It does delay if we have a fire to clean that hydrant and now we have to shovel it so we really would appreciate anybody's help to go out and clear that hydrant so that its available to be used in case of a fire,” said McComb.

Applying snow clearing to driveways and sidewalks is just as important too so firefighters don't risk injury when responding to emergencies.

McComb also said it's important to clear window wells, vents, and gas meters.

If residents want to adopt a fire hydrant program in their neighborhood, they can call the Public Works and Utilities Department at 218-730-4130.


Alejandra Palacios

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