A friend recently sent me the above picture. Apparently some people in his neighborhood think it is okay to bury the fire hydrant. Not only does it endanger their own property, it endangers other people on the block.

It’s not like Sioux Falls has not tried to get people to clear their hydrants much less get people to NOT bury them. What is the financial, criminal or civil penalty for this stupidity other than death or loss of property? While I am not big on turning your neighbor in for code violations, if you do see someone burying the fire hydrant, please report the incident to the SFFD or talk to your neighbor about it.

Here are several stories about consequences;

City of Sioux Falls Code Enforcement – Snow Removal – Fire Hydrant

Buried Fire Hydrants Can Be ‘Life and Death’ Situation

Clearing Snow From Fire Hydrants

Garage Fire Carries Reminder to Clear Hydrants

Fire Rescue asks you to keep hydrants clear

15 Thoughts on “Keep your fire hydrants clear of snow

  1. I’m sincerely impressed you would post this DL… well done.

    I can’t say as I understand the position of saying people should clear these even though the hydrants are “city property” when you have such a problem with people maintaining anything else in the boulevard, but I’m glad you are on board. As you said… it is a safety issue, and I don’t want firefighters to have to chip away three feet of snow and ice just to put out a fire.

    Thankfully I have a fantastic neighbor who clears the hydrant in front of his home on a regular basis – that guy deserves some cookies for doing the right thing.

  2. I don’t want me house to burn down. That’s why. While I could care less about the wood and shingles, I have a great art collection that I would mourn dearly if it burned.

  3. Testor15 on December 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm said:

    So does anyone know if there is a financial or jail penalty for such behavior? With our over-reaching code enforcers running around for everything else, what are they going to do with this?

    Where is our great mayor’s leadership? Oh yea, at the EC looking at tile and paint chips…

  4. More like ‘Licking Paint Chips’

  5. How about looking at the nearest hydrant to your home, and if it needs shoveling DO IT.

    Hydrants belong to all the people around it. Take the initiative and keep it clear.

  6. LJL – I agree. The point here is that some people are purposely burying the hydrants, or are burying them in pure ignorance.

  7. Testor15 on December 28, 2013 at 9:31 am said:

    LJL, I have a neighboring property intentionally covering the hydrant. Each snow this year, they have piled more snow on it and around it.

    I used to clean around the hydrant for them but this year they have decided to purposely cover it

    These people are stupid enough to not realize their lives and all the neighborhood is in danger with this action.

    These people are mix of alcoholics and retired individuals with a mix of educational ignorance. Their stupidity and ignorance will cause a death. What will the city do proactively to them?

  8. Testor15 on December 28, 2013 at 9:38 am said:

    Craig, taking care of the fire hydrant is something we do for our neighbors and ourselves. It is just simply an insurance for the future. I have had to clean up after fires when there were no hydrants available. It is not pretty. So having the hydrant cleared and available is a small price for all of us.

    A funny thing about the neighbors, they are fire bugs. They have already burned half their house while playing with fire. They use their wood fireplace without cleaning the chimney and they are bright enough to use their fire pit on their wood deck.

  9. Kevin O'Keeffe on December 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm said:

    “While I am not big on turning your neighbor in for code violations, if you do see someone burying the fire hydrant, please report the incident to the SFFD or talk to your neighbor about it.”

    Or you could just take a minute dig it out yourself, seeing as how its on public property.

  10. If my neighbor was burying the hydrant, I’d shovel it out and point out the jackass that this is how it to be kept. “Hey, I shoveled the hydrant clear, and would appreciate it if we could all keep it clear”.

    If that didn’t work I’d turn into a mean sum-bitch. I’d plunge my blower right into that pile and stick right back on his driveway. Couple times of that and we’d be on the same page.

    If they came out with an ordinance, who would they pin the ticket on. The hydrant belongs to many. That was my point.

  11. Testor15 on December 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm said:

    LJL, you have hit on just what they want to happen. These are sick people who are looking for their chance to do something even more stupid.

    The city must do something to these people to get them to be good citizens.

  12. “Or you could just take a minute dig it out yourself, seeing as how its on public property.”

    As I pointed out above, that is a good idea. I was just saying, as Testor pointed out, some people don’t get it, and if they continue to do it, they need a nice chat from the Fire Chief and the SFPD.

  13. Testor that is a problem that I truly do not know how to fix. It’s just too tough to write a person this type of ticket without seeing them shovel onto it.

    My only thought would be to send a warning ticket to all the homeowners who are plotted to that specific hydrant. Maybe this type of public embarrassment would stop the offender.

  14. pathloss on December 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm said:

    I had the FH problem where I lived before. It’s hard to keep it clear. The plow comes by and buries it with ice. My neighbors would help if they saw me shoveling but none of us were in good health. It’s a problem.

    If you have this problem, ignore the city and carry lots of homeowners insurance. The city is one from every department separate hours of the day carrying a clipboard and angry they had to get out of their Cadillac. Citations don’t mean anything. It’s aggravation you should ignore. Ask your neighbor for help or hire a kid to shovel. We, the people, must handle our own problems. Taxes we pay go toward cushy benefits, 6 weeks vacation, and people who don’t clear around their firehydrants.

  15. pathloss on December 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm said:

    I got a picture from an anonymous party in the mail. It was the ex-city attorney’s home. His car is parked on a side concrete strip. The driveway and fire hydrant are not cleared. I’d report him but you have to be related or an insider before a complaint is acknowledged or acted upon.

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