Who Is Responsible For Clearing Snow From Hydrants In Massachusetts?
With spring around the corner, we here in Western Massachusetts are still dealing with the remnants of Winter Storm Sage. Upwards of three feet of snow fell in Berkshire County last Monday and Tuesday.
With the snow, however, comes some safety issues. Roads need to be cleared, and another big one, fire hydrants. They must be visible and accessible.
During "Sage", there were local firefighters were imploring county residents to dig out their hydrant, if possible.
Keep in mind, firefighters only have a certain amount of water in their pumper trucks, so if they are coming to your house to fight a fire, wouldn't you like your nearest hydrant not to be buried in snow?
So, Who Is Responsible For Clearing Snow From Fire Hydrants In Massachusetts?
The Fire Department?
Slater caught up with Lt. Randy Stein formerly of the Pittsfield Fire Department in Pittsfield, MA, who explains protocol when talking about clearing hydrants.
Concerned citizens are reminded to "Adopt-A-Hydrant" located within 500 feet of their home or business. Because that hydrant is part of their fire protection and they get a break on their fire insurance because of its location. We recommend a clear area 5 feet around the hydrant (10' circle). State law is to keep plows/persons from piling snow on hydrants or blocking hydrants. -Lt. Randy Stein
The point is, we all pay taxes in Massachusetts, but some things you've got to handle yourself. That's not to say your local fire department may take an engine around town after a major snowstorm and do some clearing; however, ultimately it's not their responsibility.
Talk to your neighbors and make a plan on who would be up for taking on the task of clearing the nearest fire hydrant to your home, after all, people take vacations and such.