Property owners responsible for hydrants, fire lanes, vents and more; Local campaigns to clear hydrants

Above: All the snow has prompted the Fire Department to issue a warning to business owners to take their snow clearing responsibilities seriously. Meanwhile, a resident is running a Facebook promotional campaign to encourage hydrant clearing.

As snow keeps piling up, you may be sick of hearing warnings about clearing hydrants and exhaust vents. But the Southborough Fire Department reminds that snow clearing is a serious issue.

They also remind property owners that it is their responsibility. And those aren’t the only things they are responsible for clearing. They are also responsible for fire lanes, utility connections, egress and more. (Scroll down for details.)

If you own a rental property, business or educational facility in Southborough, take heed. The SFD warns that failure to follow the fire and building codes may result in “written violations, fines and possible criminal or civil penalties.”

SFD officials aren’t the only ones encouraging people to clear hydrants. I personally know that at least one pack in town is asking their Cub Scouts to take care of area hydrants.

And a Southborough resident and local business owner is offering an incentive for clearing hydrants. On Facebook, Andrew Abu is offering:

BE A HYDRANT HERO and be eligible to Win $250 and $250 to the charity of your choice!

Post a photo of you or a family member with your shoveled out hydrant on our FB page and you’ll be entered into the drawing. Don’t forget to help your neighbors who cannot shovel out their hydrants. Photos must be received on our Facebook page by 5:00p.m. on Wednesday, February 11th. Only 1 entry per family.

As for property owners’ responsibilities, the SFD writes: 

Under the codes the property owner is required to maintain (at all times):

  1. Clear visibility and access to:
    1. All designated Fire Lanes
    2. All fire suppression related fixtures, including; fire department connections (FDC) and fire hydrants on the property. It is highly recommended to also clear the closest street hydrants
    3. All exterior utility shut-off valves/connections, including; natural gas, propane and electric.
  2. Clear access to:
    1. Primary and (if applicable) alternate vehicle access driveways on to the property
    2. All primary and alternate building exits & egresses “to a safe haven”. The codes define a “safe haven” as a location that is a safe distance outside a building. This may include clearing snow from walkways, etc.
  3. Clear around all external building exhaust vents, especially heating units

To read their full notice, click here.

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Jane Abu
9 years ago

Win $500 and be a good citizen! Just a reminder the Andrew Abu Realtors Hydrant Heroes Contest is still open until Monday, February 16th at noon.

Post a photo with you and your shoveled out hydrant on the Andrew Abu FB page and you will be entered into drawing to receive $250 for you and $250 for the charity of your choice.

Dig out those hydrants and be a hydrant hero! Many thanks to the Hydrant Heroes clearing the hydrants in this oh so snowy weather.

If you need help posting a photo, you are welcome to email a photo to and it will be posted for you. Thank you!

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