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Reference Documents: Model Press Release for Fire Hydrant Inspections and Flow Testing.docx
Text of Document: Model Press Release for Fire Hydrant Inspections and Flow Testing
The model press release on the next page may be customized and used by any fire department to inform residents and business owners in their community that the fire department will be conducting inspection, maintenance, and flow testing of fire hydrants in the community.
The model press release follows the standard format for a press release.
The main title of press release should be in all UPPER CASE letters. The subtitle, if any, goes directly underneath the main title and is in Title Case letters.
The three hash tags at the end of the press release is the universal symbol for the end of the press release.
Using this press release allows the fire department to inform the community of the work to be performed, provides advice on how to cope with rusty water, should they experience it, and tells residents that fire hydrants are being maintained for safety. Residents may not be aware of the need to check hydrants, the fact that hydrants are checked, the importance of the checks on the ISO rating, and the fact that the fire department performs the checks.
Consider including a photo of fire department personnel performing a fire hydrant inspection or flow test.
Some newspapers will run a press release as is, and others may contact the fire department for additional information and create a news story based on the press release and interviews with fire department personnel. Be prepared in case a news agency contacts the fire department for more information or a quote for the news story or article.
<Fire Department Logo or Letterhead>
Contact: <NAME OF CONTACT> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Email: < email address >
Date: <RELEASE DATE>
<ANYTOWN > FIRE DEPARTMENT TO INSPECT FIRE HYDRANTS
Residents and Business Owners May Experience Changes in Water Pressure
Fire Chief <CHIEF’S NAME> announces that during the month of <MONTH> , the <Anytown> Fire Department will be inspecting the fire hydrants in the community. Fire crews will be out Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until all of the <NUMBER OF HYDRANTS > hydrants are inspected. The inspection involves removing all caps and lubricating the threads as well as flowing water to ensure that each hydrant is operating properly.
All fire hydrants in the community are known as dry barrel hydrants, meaning that there is no water in the barrel of the hydrant until the hydrant is opened. This helps ensure that the hydrants will not freeze in cold weather and will therefore be available when needed for a fire. After every use and inspection, the hydrants are closed and the water drains out. Hydrants that do not drain properly, or with other problems, are reported to the < NAME OF REPAIR AGENCY> for further maintenance.
This annual testing is essential to maintain the community’s <Class X> Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification, and to ensure that hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes. Along with maintaining the fire rating, the testing monitors the health of the city’s water system, identifies weak areas in the system, removes materials that settle in the hydrant, and cleans out the lines. Checking each hydrant improves crew knowledge of hydrant locations. Fire department personnel will check to make sure there is adequate clearance around all fire hydrants, and property owners should clear weeds and brush from blocked hydrants to aid in their easy identification and access. The fire code requires at least 36 inches of clear area around the hydrant for proper access and helps assure that the hydrant is visible from the road.
During hydrant inspections, residents might experience temporarily low water pressure or discolored (rusty) water. The discoloration of water will not harm an individual, although it may stain light colored clothing. The fire department advises that you run your faucets until you have clean water. Do not run your hot water or do laundry until your water is clear. If you have any questions, or should you at any time notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at <XXX-XXX-XXXX >.