Auburn Fire Rescue Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. is reminding both home and business owners to make sure all your doorways and fire hydrants are shoveled out.

Chief Coleman says that Firefighters run into a number of circumstances when people’s secondary means of egress is blocked by piles of un-shoveled snow. Typically, most residents use their back door as the primary means of entering and exiting their home. The front door is often reserved for guests.

“People don’t consider that the outer storm door typically swings outward. So as soon as you’ve got snow, which becomes ice, and you push that door, it doesn’t open. Consequently, your secondary means of exit is cut off”. Chief Coleman said.

In addition, the Chief asks residents and business owners to keep an eye on their neighborhood fire hydrants, and for business owners to monitor the private hydrants on their property. “With over 500 hydrants in Auburn we need the publics help to keep the hydrants clear. It would take us a month to shovel out that many hydrants”.

Because the heating season often brings on fires in the home, Chief Coleman recommends in addition to keeping all exit paths clear and hydrants shoveled, residents should have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a home escape plan. “Keeping all exits free of ice and snow not only makes the home safer in case of fire, it minimizes slips and falls, Chief Coleman said.