As this week proves, snow can pile up quickly in the North Country and cause problems. The Fort Drum Fire Prevention Branch would like to remind everyone that snow can be a major safety issue. Removal of snow is required by Fort Drum Fire Prevention Regulation 420-4.
Snow shall be removed from all exits and exterior utility room doors. Failure to do so could cause death in the event of a fire or other serious emergency by blocking an exit and preventing the door from opening.
You may be thinking that you could use another exit. What if the fire is between you and the other exit? You also might be thinking about using a window to escape. What if the snow has fallen from the roof or snow removal habits have allowed snow to pile against the window and block it? You will become trapped and unable to escape. In most cases, you only have about 30 seconds to get out.
It is the building occupant’s responsibility to remove snow from all fire department equipment. This equipment includes hydrants, fire department connections, post indicator valves and fire lanes. Emergency responders need to have unobstructed access to these pieces of equipment at all times. Failure to do so could slow emergency response at a time when seconds count. Life or death is often decided by a person’s split-second decision.
In a life-threatening situation, whether a person will live or die is always decided by how quickly emergency responders can reach the person in need of help. Fire hydrants, fire department connections and post indicator valves need to have snow removed from around them and an access path to them from the emergency lane. The fire lane must be clear from the road to the main sidewalk leading to the building and then back out to the road again.
The Fort Drum Fire Prevention Branch recommends that unit and activity commanders coordinate snow removal with the personnel responsible for removing snow in their area. Set a time that all vehicles shall be removed from a specific area so that snow removal can be completed. This process may be a continuous project, depending upon the amount of snow or the number of days with continuous snowfall.
It is the responsibility of each individual resident in Family Housing to perform snow removal. Please, take time to clear snow and ice from all exits, driveways and sidewalks. Snow removal from roadways and fire hydrants is the responsibility of Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes. We are asking everyone to adopt the fire hydrant next to your quarters and remove the snow from it. This will help to ensure that the Fire and Emergency Services Division can access them quickly at all times.
Safety is everyone’s business. Please ensure that snow removal is being completed. The Fort Drum Fire Prevention Branch would like to see everyone go home at the end of day, and we hope all are safe when at home.
For more information, contact the Fort Drum Fire Prevention Branch at 772-4702.
(Fort Drum Fire Prevention Branch)