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Fire Officials: Clear Snow Around Hydrants

Make sure buildings are heated to at least 40 degrees as well

With a storm poised to dump potentially a foot of snow on the area, Toms River fire officials urged residents on Tuesday to clear snow from the areas around fire hydrants.

Jim Mercready, director of the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention, was asking residents to "adopt a hydrant" and clear a three foot space around the circumference of a hydrant near their home so, in the case of a fire, a hose can be quickly hooked up.

Frequently, Mercready said, plowing operations will bury the hydrants, which could lead to delays in fighting fires.

Also, Mercready said, buildings equipped with fire sprinklers should ensure that the air temperature inside does not drop below 40 degrees.

"When temperatures plummeted in the area two weeks ago, numerous leaks in fire sprinkler systems occurred as the result of frozen pipes that ruptured," he said.

Residents should also be "vigilant" when using alternative heating systems, such as space heaters, during the upcoming stretch of frigid temperatures, said Mercready.

Residents with fire safety questions can call the bureau at 732-240-5153.

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