Michiganders urged to keep fire hydrants and emergency exits clear of snow

MANISTEE COUNTY — As snow continues to accumulate, and crews continue to work to clear roads, parking lots and sidewalks this winter, State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is urging all Michiganders to help keep fire hydrants and buildings’ emergency exits clear of snow and ice for emergency access and egress.

“Fire hydrants can quickly disappear especially with the continued accumulation of snow statewide and as snow banks grow taller along Michigan roadways during snow clearing efforts,” said Sehlmeyer. “Precious time is lost when firefighters have to first locate and then dig out a fire hydrant to establish a water supply. This delay can have catastrophic results due to not getting enough water quickly enough to contain and extinguish a fire.”

This time of the year it’s also important to remind businesses to keep all emergency exits clear of snow and ice. Keeping doorways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice at public assembly buildings such as malls, grocery stores, restaurants, theatres and churches, is important to provide a quick exit for people if a fire was to occur.

“I urge business owners and residents to take responsibility for keeping snow away from fire hydrants in their communities to allow for quick, easy access if needed for a fire,” Sehlmeyer said. “We all win when we’re working together.”

Another winter life safety concern as snow accumulates is to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide inside a building due to a snow-blocked vent on newer energy efficient heating equipment. This can occur when the PVC vent pipe gets covered with snow. Sehlmeyer is asking all Michiganders and business owners to clear snow away from the PVC vent pipes.

Remember to check your smoke alarms monthly. If you have any questions, please visit the Bureau of Fire Services website at www.michigan.gov/bfs.

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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