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FD: Clear Hydrants, It's the Law

After last winter, Wyckoff passed an ordinance requiring residents to clear snow from fire hydrants on their properties, and the Fire Chief in Franklin Lakes is urging residents to help save the FD valuable time when responding to emergencies.

In the wake of a storm brewing in Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes that could bring four to 10 inches of snow, local fire officials are asking residents to help them by clearing snow and ice from fire hydrants after the storm.  

Borough Fire Chief Ryan Dodd is asking residents to take special precautions in case of a fire or emergency during the storm.

“Last winter, due to the number of fire hydrants that were not visible or accessible, the volunteers of the Franklin Lakes Fire Department spent countless hours locating and clearing snow from hydrants on private property,” Dodd said in a release. As a result the FD is asking resident to “adopt a hydrant” and clear any hydrants near their homes during and after the storm.

“In the event of a true fire emergency at your home or place of business, seconds count,” Dodd said. Removing snow, ice, and other debris from hydrants is a “big help” to the FD, he said.

The Wyckoff Fire Department has released a similar request of residents.

After the “large volume” of snowfall in the township last year, the township updated its ordinance pertaining to fire hydrant clearing, the fire department announced. Propoerty owners and tenants are now responsible to clear snow and ice from a five-foot radius around hydrants on their properties, and snow must be cleared no later than 12 hours after snowfall.

Excerpt from township code, Chapter 115-3: The owner, owners and/or lessees of any real property in the Township upon which a fire hydrant is located shall maintain the area within a five-foot radius of the perimeter of such fire hydrant to ensure that such area is free of snow and/or vegetation. The requirement of this section shall be completed by the responsible party no later than 12 hours after any natural obstruction such as snow and/or vegetation shall be located within the five-foot radius from the fire hydrant. Failure to maintain the clear five-foot radius within the time required above shall constitute a violation.

Both towns have asked residents to alert private contractors that clear driveways of the rules about clearing hydrants as well, and asks that residents leave hydrant stakes meant to identify hydrant locations in the ground.

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