As the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area prepares for one of the biggest snow storms to hit the area in years, Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue would like to remind residents that in the instance of a fire, firefighters need to be able to quickly locate the fire hydrant, or lives and property could be lost. Fire Marshal’s Office urges all residents and community groups to do the following to help keep their neighbors safe during inclement weather:
· Make sure the hydrant in your neighborhood is visible. Adopt your fire hydrant. It needs to be uncovered from snow and there needs to be a clear path for access.
o Should extreme weather prevail resulting in snow-covered fire hydrants:
§ Attempt to remove the snow from around the hydrant, if you’re unable to do so,
§ Place 4-foot 1"x2" orange-tipped stakes near the hydrants, or
§ Spray paint the word, “Fire Hydrant” in large letters on the snow directly in front of the fire hydrant.
· Make sure your address is visible. Fire and Rescue responders use maps to get them to the area, but they need to be able to see house numbers to ensure they are at the correct location.
· Make sure you have at least two clear exits out of your house. Keep an eye on snow build up. When the snow melts and refreezes, it could prevent you from being able to open the door and exit from your house.
· Clear the areas around emergency exits to ensure customers can exit safely in an emergency.
By doing these things, it will help keep response times as low as possible under these challenging conditions.