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US officials stress importance of fire hydrant inspections

Stock fire hydrant

Local authorities and fire officials in the city of Syracuse, New York are stressing the importance of fire hydrant checks months after a fire at Destiny USA called for a major response.

Two of the closest hydrants were not pumping water when the fire broke out on the roof of one of the biggest malls in America last December, CNY reported.

Joseph Awald, Commissioner of the Syracuse Water Department says fire hydrants are inspected annually. The hydrants in that fire were not maintained by the city, unlike the street-based ones that are usually maintained by the city.

There are reportedly 5,506 hydrants in the city, checking hydrants takes time as they are inspected thoroughly. Central the water department checks the caps, chains, operating nuts and more, Awald told CNY

While the city water department oversees hydrant inspections and replacements, the Syracuse Fire Department is responsible for clearing the area around hydrants.

Syracuse Fire Chief John Kane said clearing hydrants is especially high maintenance in the winter and after snowstorms, which can be a time-consuming exercise.

Kane has also called residents to help shovel out hydrants near their homes, which will help the fire department significantly. However, the fire chief, said residents should refrain from checking whether hydrants are working, stressing to leave that work to the professionals.

In addition, locals and residents have been urged to call the water department in the event of visible leaks or damage on +1 (315) 448-8238.