Don’t forget fire hydrants when you clear snow

Old Man Winter’s here in full force, and boy, does he seem grumpy this year. Snow, ice and frigid temps seem like an almost daily occurance — and there’s more on the way.oldmanwinter

While shoveling snow is not likely at the top of anyone’s list of fun things to do, it’s a necessary chore. We’d just like to remind our readers that when you’re cleaning out a space for your car, don’t forget to also clear out the area around any fire hydrants near your home.

It’s a critical, but often overlooked, task. Think about it: if emergency workers need access to water to battle a blaze, seconds count. Time they’ve wasted shoveling out a fire hydrant so they can connect a hose is time they could have used to save a life or a home.

A few other winter-weather reminders:

  • Make sure you’ve cleared the area in front of your mailbox to give access to postal workers.
  • Clear a path for meter readers: Utility companies occasionally need to check your electric or water meter. They’ve likely spent the day trudging through snow and ice – don’t make their jobs harder.
  • Be sure your sidewalks are clean and salted. If yours aren’t properly cleared, you could face fines or be held liable if someone is injured. Check your municipality’s ordinances to find out what you’re responsible for maintaining.
  • Whether you’re cleaning off the sidewalk or making a space for your car, don’t shovel the snow into the street.
  • Check your pipes: uninsulated pipes and/or pipes in an unheated basement or crawl space can easily freeze when the temperature falls.