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Keep fire hydrants and household vents clear of snow

The Prince Edward County Fire Department is calling on residents to clear snow from fire hydrants on or around their property. The department is also urging residents to keep household vents clear of snow, and make sure carbon monoxide alarms are in working order.

With recent snowfalls, many fire hydrants normally very visible are becoming covered with snow and difficult to locate and access. Residents who are aware of a buried hydrant, but can’t clear it themselves, are asked to call the fire department’s non-emergency line at 613.476.2345, advise the Fire Department of the situation and help ensure that necessary steps can be taken to clear the snow.

Heavy snow can also block vents for furnaces, gas fireplaces, and other fuel burning appliances. If those appliances are unable to properly vent, carbon monoxide gas can build up inside your home.

Filed Under: Local News


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  1. Bill says:

    Whomever was the leading the troops in the wrong direction of, Its not my job, should be the one held responsible for this fiasco (Edward Building). One could only assume that it was Mngt. who didn’t have their ducks in a row, as usual. When the CAO started taking over is when the mass confusion started. Re-directing to the degree of no one knowing who was to do what and when. This statement was and still is being heard from all employees so we can’t blame them for the stupidity that unraveled here. So thanks to the fire fighters that were out today taking the safety of every resident seriously.

  2. Gary says:

    They are out shovelling because they finally got a boot in the hind end. Council was informed of the lack of responsibility the County was displaying. You may think it is blather but in fact it is a very serious issue. When you pay taxes you expect the hydrants protecting your property to be accessible.

  3. Lynn says:

    In response to Gary who asked why can’t the firemen get out of the hall and do it?Really?Firemen do more than what you think besides go to fires.They do above and beyond what you think.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Geez, people!! Enough blather. If you can’t/won’t clear the hydrant in front of your house, call the number provided in the article! Simple. Personnel are out shovelling today.

  5. lou says:

    its municipalitys job (with Whoever department).
    water or roads etc
    in my opinion
    I happen to have a hydrant near me. and I do keep an eye on it
    nobody has come by and shovelled.
    i wont be shovelling BUT when my driveway is plowed, the truck does do a sweep by the hydrant and keeps it clear.

    who flushes the Hydrants in the spring /summer?
    its not the Fire department.

    AND 2nd……….Good idea for home owners to look at their gas Vents!…
    with all this snow they can get blocked.
    Glad this article reminded me to go look

  6. Marnie says:

    There was someone from the county\’s insurance company at council recently to talk about all the risks of using volunteers What if one of them should be hurt? Big liability factor. What would happen if someone fell and broke a hip, leg, or arm while clearing snow from around town hydrants? Surely that would be grounds for a liability claim. Wonder if they thought of that.

  7. Snowman says:

    What a joke! How many hydrants are located on private property? None I would hope. What would happen if I rented a skid steer and started moving snow away from the all hydrants on my street? Merlin would have some one on my tail pretty quick.Probably ok if this old man shoveled them all by hand however. Where should I deposit the snow? In the middle of Paul Street.

  8. Gene says:

    You might want to research your comments about the Boston Firefighters.
    My cousin lives in Boston and regularly clears the hydrant in front of his residence. On Duty firefighters there are shoveling when not attending their regular duties.

    Re-read the original post “Residents who are aware of a buried hydrant, but can’t clear it themselves, are asked to call the fire department’s non-emergency line at 613.476.2345, advise the Fire Department of the situation and help ensure that necessary steps can be taken to clear the snow.” Maybe the water dept can get out and shovel a few too since they are responsible for them?

  9. Susan says:

    This whole community release seems odd. Have to wonder who authorized it and under what reasoning. Taxpayers pay dearly to employ workers to see that this work is done. Under an emergency situation I believe everyone able would assist but that is not the case here. Who’s running the show?

  10. Gary says:

    In Boston where they have been hit with 6 feet of snow recently, all the fireman were out today digging out hydrants. Part of their job! And I doubt they are paid as well, with early retirement pensions and an excellent benefit package. Our fireman are respected but it is not unreasonable to expect them to dig out their hydrants. Get on with the work and responsibilities. If the Chief can’t manage it then perhaps Council needs to intervene and manage the issue.

  11. Marnie says:

    Banned if you think clearing those hydrants is such great idea grab your shovel and get your 34-year-old butt out there and get to work. Then report for duty at Shire Hall to see if they have any other jobs for you. The way this county spends money they could afford to hire someone to shovel out the hydrants. It would give someone a job.

  12. Argyle says:

    I am sure that next year at this time, hydrant clearing will have been contracted out to a private company……and the extra expense added to your tax bill……management the Shire Hall way.

  13. Paul says:

    After that we can all go help with the water main break on Talbot

  14. Paul says:

    Thank goodness they put those big yellow extensions on them so we can find them after the town plows cover them over…This has to be a joke kinda reminds me of the Tom Sawyer whitewash story c’mon everyone it will be fun… 😉

  15. Gary says:

    The resident taxpayers are not special by any means. Management needs to exercise authority in this situation and direct workers (firemen included) to get the job done. It’s called managing.

  16. Banned, I guess says:


    I am 34. My nephews are all in elementary school. You sound like the same , tired old rag that complains about everything in the County. Because you are and you do.

  17. Bill says:

    So I thought I would go one step closer to finding out the true responsibility of these hydrants. So I called the Ontario Fire Marshall. Below is what was said.
    It is the Municipality’s responsibility to ensure that the hydrants are free of snow and ice and in good working order as the municipality own these hydrants. That being said the Municipality MUST ensure that this job gets done by WHOMEVER/DEPT. The Municipality can go on the radio/website/newspaper to ask the residents to do these jobs but at the end of the day the municipality MUST ensure that they have been done (which isn’t happening) then they must ENSURE that there is a plan B to go to because they are STILL the owner of the system and will be held liable.
    Hope this is helpful

  18. Marnie says:

    Sorry Bill, I should have said Banned is amazing but I am sure you are as well. You see the situation for what it is. Banned sounds like a fireman’s uncle.

  19. Marnie says:

    You are amazing too Bill. You actually expect senior citizens to brave this cold to clear snow from around the town fire hydrants? Why? Isn’t that why we pay taxes. Yes, we are entitled – entitled to more consideration than this. There is a name for this suggestion and I believe it is called downloading.

  20. Bill says:

    Banned, I guess
    Special is asking any resident to shovel out they hydrants when we as taxpayers are already paying for this service. As to date I have not seen one fire dept or water dept employee out doing their share. So when we as taxpayers are asked to do this job then we had damn well better see the employees doing something as well. I will tell you where the problem is and has been for the past couple of years. Its a case of, well it isn’t my job. Mangt. needs to clearly state who is doing what and when so that when an emergency should arise everyone is all on the same page. If you don’t want to do your job then move over because there is already five more individuals lined up who wouldn’t mind your job and your pay….

  21. Banned, I guess says:

    Majority of comments on this site never cease to make me lose faith in my community. Entitled much, folks? You’re all so special!

  22. Wolf Braun says:

    “Residents who are aware of a buried hydrant, but can’t clear it themselves, are asked to call the fire department’s non-emergency line at 613.476.2345, advise the Fire Department of the situation and help ensure that necessary steps can be taken to clear the snow.”

    Make the call if you feel if it’s unsafe for you to clear the hydrant close to your house.

  23. Mark says:

    I would encourage all residents to clip and save this notice. If you suffer property or life losses due to slow response because of buried hydrants, the County has advertised that there are buried hydrants and are asking residents to clear them as opposed to identifying a corporate action to address the issue. County’s insurance carrier must be unaware.

  24. Susan says:

    This request under non emergency situations is not acceptable by the County. We should be hearing from Hull, Epstein and Dunlop on this. Seniors can’t get a Christmas tree picked up in this town and now you want them shoveling out hydrants on their way to pay the tax bill. Or was that the water bill?

  25. Gary says:

    Jerthro; You gave me a big chuckle on another cold grey February day. Too much to ask a very well paid fireman to shovel out their hydrants during down time. Too tired! Give me a break. The County needs to clear hydrants not hoping that residents do. As I said if it was emergency conditions yes I could accept that, otherwise get the workers out and get it done. When houses burn because the County expected seniors and otherwise to clear hydrants guess who is liable. At last week’s Council they got a briefing on not using volunteers in any slip and fall scenario and now the Shire Hall brains are asking for the public to do just that! We have employee’s on the taxpayers dime to do this work. Fireman don’t need to sit in the hall all day when there is needed work to be done especially when it pertains to their jobs.

  26. Bill says:

    I have never seen such crap in my life when it is expected of the taxpayer to shovel out the hydrants. I guess it dosen’t matter that we live in a town with an aging population. SHAMEFUL! Here’s an idea we seem to have such an influx of workers why not put a shovel in there hands. In the past few years we get less and pay more shame on this Mayor for allowing this to happen, it wasn’t an issue a few years ago.

  27. Jerthro says:

    The fire tucks need water to fight fire. Fire double its size every two minutes. If the fireman has to take time to shovel out the hydrants and use there energy to do this then who are going to fight the fire. Most of the firemen are volunteers and tax payers as well. Maybe the fresh air and exercise would be good for you and if you need some help maybe the fireman will come and help if you call.

  28. Gary says:

    I believe the Fire Department have the resources to do it. They are funded by the taxpayer. As well there are the infamous liability issues if we ask residents to dig out hydrants on County property. What next will be asked to do? Maybe we can take turns running the sidewalk plow. The taxpayer pays big bucks for our County staff and I don’t think it is necessary for us to start doing their work unless it was an emergency situation.

  29. Banned, I guess says:

    Gary, is there a reason you can’t do it?

  30. Gary says:

    I’d say that is fine they are right in town with the fire trucks and be right on their way. Not a big deal.

  31. Corey says:

    Really, Gary?
    How would you feel if you called for emergency services and were told they are all out clearing snow?

  32. Gary says:

    Is there a reason why the fireman can’t get out of the hall and start clearing hydrants?

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