GEORGETOWN — The Georgetown Township Fire Protection District is launching a public awareness campaign on the importance of keeping fire hydrants clear of debris and obstructions.

In an emergency, every second counts, said a news release Tuesday from Capt. Isaac Williams.

That is why fire hydrants must be visible and easily accessible, the news release said. After a meeting with Indiana American Water, the department’s fire inspectors are working diligently to educate the community on who is responsible for clearing fire hydrants from obstruction, and the importance it has for firefighters. Someone’s life may depend on it.

Floyd County uses a computer mapping program to help firefighters locate fire hydrants. If a hydrant is blocked or behind vegetation, firefighters should still know that it is there, but it may significantly delay access needed in the event of a fire.

Keeping fire hydrants clear from vegetation, snow, landscaping, etc. is the responsibility of the property owner or tenant. The Fire Code requires a minimum of three feet of clearance around the hydrant so firefighters can turn the valve that allows water to flow.

The district also recently received a new Public Protection Classification (PPC) of an ISO Class 4/4Y. This designation identifies enhanced fire suppression capabilities throughout the district, and offers the potential for decreased property insurance premiums.

In order to obtain the new designation, the fire department had to demonstrate that it is capable of sustaining a water supply of 200 gallons per minute, for at least 20 minutes, in the outer parts of the district.

The use of fire hydrants is critical for firefighting operations.

For more information or to report a leaking or broken fire hydrant in Georgetown, please contact the Fire Prevention Division at (812) 951-2354 or (812) 948-0288.

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