Recommended to leave a radius around fire hydrants when shoveling snow

KANSAS — Firefighters are asking the community to be mindful when shoveling snow.

Fire departments recommend leaving at least a five-foot radius around fire hydrants.

Doing that allows sunlight to help the ground thaw more efficiently — keeping water lines warmer, which will help prevent water issues with the hydrant.

Steven Burton, Fire Chief, Columbus Fire Dept., says, “Any amount of clearance around it is very important for us, but also making sure the different jurisdictions and private parties that are pushing snow aren’t piling those piles up in the way of those hydrants to where they’ll block the view from responders. That’s very important as well.”

One common problem fire fighters encounter with hydrants during winter conditions are that the caps become frozen to the hydrant.

To fix that issue, many departments carry portable butane torches, which works within seconds to un-freeze the cap.

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