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The mounds of snow on the ground can leave you with limited options to escape your home in the event of a fire.

Winkler Fire Chief Richard Paetzold says, as they always promote in their fire prevention program, it's important to have 2 ways out of every room in your house. That second way out is most often a window.

Paetzold says if you have bedrooms in the basement, it's a slightly higher risk if a fire is blocking the main way out.

"If your basement window well is blocked by 5 - 6 feet of snow, you're going to have a hard time burrowing your way out of there." Paetzold says it's a very easy fix to make sure your second way out is not blocked, by getting outside regularly to clear the snow.

Meanwhile, with significant snowfall accumulation, fire hydrants can easily disappear from sight. After a snow event, as part of its snow-clearing efforts, Paetzold says the city will clear snow around fire hydrants, however, it won't happen right away, as clearing streets is the main priority. 

"We do have technology now that kind of tells us where fire hydrants are," says Paetzold.  "But it's not only being able to locate them, it's also having the availability to hook up to it."  Paetzold says to try and locate the hydrant, and hook up the hoses in several feet of snow will only delay the time in which they can get water flowing.

Paetzold says if it's something you can manage, clearing around 3 feet in diameter, as well as a direct path from the hydrant to the street, is a definite help.

fire hydrant

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