When you look out your window, remain calm, and do not scream! I want you to remind yourself that spring is only 12 days away! If that isn’t good enough for you, WFSB’s meteorologist, Mike Cameron, was quick to note that this weekend’s temperatures will reach the mid 40s on Saturday, and possibly 50 on Sunday! So, as you are heading out to clear your driveway, walk way, and sidewalk, remember to shovel that fire hydrant!
Here is an interesting fact; many of the surrounding communities have town ordinances requiring homeowners to clear their sidewalks and fire hydrants on or near their property. However, after speaking with Fire Chief Cooney, South Windsor does not have this type of ordinance. Although, I have to confess, even though Manchester does have this type of ordinance, I have yet to see them enforce it! So, you’re asking, “How does that effect me, living in South Windsor?” The short answer is, it doesn’t affect you. The reality is you don’t have to go out there and spend an additional 10 minutes shoveling that little fire hydrant – right? WRONG – you do! Town ordinances or not, it is your responsibility! Think of it this way, after the last blizzard a few weeks ago, everyone was worried about clearing the sidewalks, and having a safe place for our children to walk, and rightly so! No one wants to place our children in any unnecessary danger by having them walk on the streets. It is, after all, really a risk we can avoid!
How about that fire hydrant? What is the risk? After all South Windsor has contracted with someone to clear the snow from the fire hydrants. Hold on a minute, I want to look outside – Ahhhhh, nope; the two hydrants near my house are still covered with snow. No, I am not implying that the company contracted to remove the snow is not doing their job. However, what I am implying is that it takes time, and frankly, if you can clear your driveway, walkway, and sidewalk, then you can put a little more effort it and clear the fire hydrant!
Let’s put this in perspective. It’s 1:00 AM and your fire detector is going off. You’re not sure why or what is happening. All you know is it’s time to follow that evacuation plan your kid brought home from Mrs. Foster’s 3rd grade class during fire safety week, and get out of the house! At the same time, your neighbor sees smoke coming from the side of your home and dials 911! Fortunately, you did clear the snow from your fire hydrant and when the first fire engine arrived, they were able to connect to the hydrant and suppress the fire that started in the basement. All is well!
On the other hand, if you had not cleared the hydrant, our firefighters could conceivably waste precious minutes digging out that (now frozen) fire hydrant, while that small basement fire quickly turned into a raging fire. Take it a step further; firefighters arrived to find heavy flames bursting through the windows, and a family trapped. Yet, the fire department only has 750 gallons of water available on the fire. Yes, mutual aid is coming, and other firefighters are responding. Yes, as with all firefighters, I am sure South Windsor’s bravest would still burst through the doors, with or without water to save you! BUT, they shouldn’t have to place their lives in that unnecessary risk of not having enough water! SO, in the end, if not for you, and your family, or your neighbors, then for the sake of our firefighter, and their families PLEASE make every effort to shovel out the fire hydrants on your property! – Jay