Flanders Firefighters Urge Residents to Clear Snow From Hydrants

Flanders Firefighters Urge Residents to Clear Snow From Hydrants

FLANDERS, N.J. – With the area still digging out from one major
snowstorm and bracing for another, Flanders Fire Chief Frank Zeller
reminded residents to dig out the hydrants near their homes.

“Cold and fires, unfortunately, go together,” said Zeller. “People are
using space heaters, fireplaces and other devices to stay warm.
Furnaces are working overtime. A lot of things come together in these
cold temperatures to create the potential for a fire. We need to be
able to access the fire hydrants to successfully fight fires and save
lives and property.”

Zeller explained that firefighters bring enough water with them to
start the battle against a fire, but that they need to access fire
hydrants to keep the water on the fire and put it out.

“We’ve lost at least one home in this town because we couldn’t find
the buried hydrant,” said Zeller. “We often hear about it in other
places. We don’t it to happen here again.”

Zeller said the law requires property owners to clear the hydrants on
their property but, he added, it should be a neighborhood project.
Zeller suggested that neighbors work together to dig out the hydrant
near their homes or take turns doing it. If the property owner can’t
do it, then a neighbor or several neighbors should step up to get it
done. He asked that the area be cleared completely around the hydrant
so the connections are accessible and a hose can be wrapped around the
hydrant itself.

“Flanders firefighters are all Flanders residents,” said Zeller. “We
all have to clear our driveways and walks, too. We know that these
storms are creating alot work for everyone. But clearing a hydrant can
mean the difference between life and death for a neighbor. It can mean
the difference between a damaged home and the complete loss of a home.

“Please help us by clearing the hydrants,” he added.

The Flanders Fire Company and Rescue Squad No. 1 provides fire
protection and emergency medical services to residents and businesses
in Flanders and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. It is made up
of about 75 members, all of whom receive training in fire suppression,
rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and
emergency medical services. The fire company operates two fire
engines, one tower truck, one heavy rescue, a brush-and-foam truck,
two ambulances, a multiple-casualty unit and a mass decontamination
unit.

In addition, the fire company offers public education services
including lectures, demonstrations, training and a trailer that safely
simulates a smoke-filled home. For information about membership,
donations or public education, call (973) 584-7805 or click on
www.flandersfire.org.

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