Thursday, January 19, 2012


The winter months bring a special concern to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Large winter storms can often hide fire hydrants under a mountain of snow making them impossible to find quickly. In the event of a fire, firefighters have to locate and shovel out fire hydrants before hooking up to them. Precious time is lost. It is critical that the fire department has quick access to hydrants in the event of a fire. Locating and accessing an obstructed or covered fire hydrant may take 5-7 minutes once firefighters arrive on the scene.

Normally, the stations attempt to shovel every hydrant in their first due area, but it sometimes takes days to finish. Please don’t let your neighborhood hydrant remain “undercover”.

We are asking that you help us by keeping the fire hydrant closest to your residence or business clear of snow. We need a 3 foot clearance on all sides. When shoveling snow be aware of vehicle traffic. Do not stand in the street and be careful not to slip and fall out into the roadway.

Citizens and civic groups (Boy Scouts, etc) can “adopt” a hydrant or hydrants in their neighborhood.

If you do choose to participate, please send an email to with the location or locations of the hydrant(s) that you pledge to keep clear.

Jeffrey F. Katz
Volunteer Liaison
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue