Snow has fallen here in Massachusetts and it's time to remember a few things if you're a home owner. Yes, shoveling your sidewalk and driveway is a must; even helping your elderly neighbor is more than encouraged, but what about fire hydrants?

Keep in mind, firefighters only have a certain amount of water in their pumper trucks, so if they are coming to your house to fight a fire, wouldn't you like your nearest hydrant not to be buried in snow?

BUT WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CLEARING THE HYDRANTS?

THE CITY?

THE FIRE DEPARTMENT?

YOU?

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YES, YOU.

Slater caught up with Lt. Randy Stein from the Pittsfield Fire Department in Pittsfield, MA, who explains protocol when talking about clearing hydrants.

Concerned citizens are reminded to "Adopt-A-Hydrant" located within 500 feet of their home or business. Because that hydrant is part of their fire protection and they get a break on their fire insurance because of its location. We recommend a clear area 5 feet around the hydrant (10' circle). State law is to keep plows/persons from piling snow on hydrants or blocking hydrants. -Lt. Randy Stein

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The point is, we all pay taxes in Massachusetts, but some things ya gotta handle yourself. That's not to say your local fire department may take an engine around town after a major snowstorm and do some clearing; however, ultimately it's not their responsibility.

Talk to your neighbors and make a plan on who would be up for taking on the task of clearing the nearest fire hydrant to your home, after all, people take vacations and such.

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