VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In honor of Fire Prevention Week October 5-11, 2014, American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, is reminding consumers about the importance of water infrastructure for fire protection, providing tips for helping to maintain hydrants, and supporting this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme of “Smoke Alarms Save Lives”.
Water infrastructure plays a critical role in the availability of highly pressurized hydrants that allow emergency workers to extinguish blazes with speed and effectiveness.
“American Water is committed to making infrastructure improvements that benefit customers and contribute to fire protection," said Gary Naumick, Senior Director of Engineering. "By proactively investing in our water systems, including making needed upgrades to hydrants, booster stations and other systems critical to fire protection, we help firefighters to continue protecting the health and safety of our communities."
Naumick noted that consumers play an important role in this effort, as a portion of their water bills goes toward these critical investments to keep their community's infrastructure strong.
Maintaining the vast systems of water infrastructure takes a lot of work, and consumers can also play a role in helping to keep fire hydrants dependable and in good working order by using the following tips:
- Keep fire hydrants clear of debris. Although they're usually located curbside, avoid parking trash bags and recycling buckets too close.
- Give hydrants breathing room. Don't plant flowers or shrubs next them.
- Mow around fire hydrants. If weeds or grass are enveloping them, make sure to trim around them during yard work.
- Shovel the snow and ice around hydrants.
- If a fire hydrant appears damaged, is overflowing or the snow flag is missing, report the situation, including the hydrant's location, to the local fire department immediately.
- For your safety and that of others, never park in front of or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, even just for a few minutes.
Just as it is necessary to make sure our country’s infrastructure keeps working as a means of fire protection, it is also important to make sure that the smoke alarms in your home or business are maintained on a regular basis. According to the National Fire Protection Association, when smoke alarms fail to operate it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. American Water encourages consumers to be informed about proper smoke alarm protocol from these tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms every month.
- Change your smoke alarm batteries when you turn your clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.