BEND, Ore. -

As the snow continues to pile up here in Central Oregon, Bend Fire and Rescue said Tuesday they need your help in keeping fire hydrants visible and accessible during the winter months. 

In an emergency situation seconds count.  If firefighters cannot quickly locate and access a fire hydrant, precious time can be lost which may result in death, injury, and greater property loss.

 Help us help you by keeping snow cleared away for at least three feet all the way around fire hydrants near your home and/or business. Also, keep a path clear from the fire hydrant to the road.

In addition, access to and egress from buildings can be challenging in these inclement weather conditions. Keep driveways and sidewalks cleared of snow and ice as much as possible to give easy access and prevent injuries due to slipping on icy walkways.

Now is also the time to check your emergency exits.  Doors that are marked “Emergency Exit Only” or that are not routinely used may be quickly blocked by snow and ice buildup.  Don’t cut off your escape route!  Remove ice and snow regularly from these areas in order to maintain your emergency exits. 

Plan ahead for a safer winter – clear snow from exit doors and around hydrants today!