On the heels of yet another heavy snowfall before what’s already down had a chance to melt, New Canaan fire officials are urging homeowners to clear the areas around fire hydrants fronting their properties.
Fire Marshal Fred Baker also said it’s important for homeowners to ask their private snowplow operators not to bury the hydrants.
“It’s very, very critical,” Baker said. “We have flags on many hydrants that stick up in the air, but we may not be able to dig them out at a fire—the guys will just go to the next one unless it’s a mile away.”
Fire Chief Jack Hennessey said it’s crucial not to lose precious seconds at the scene of a fire because a hydrant is not immediately available.
“It’s been an ongoing battle,” Hennessey said of the consecutive snowstorms that have blanketed the town and region in snow that quickly “turns to concrete,” the chief said, in this winter’s extreme cold.
It’s far easier to move the snow off of a hydrant just after it falls when it is still relatively light, Hennessey said. The firefighters are going around the town and digging up hydrants that are covered, but the department asks residents to help.