Press release submitted by Iowa American Water|
Iowa American Water shares tips during Fire Prevention Week
Water Infrastructure Crucial to Effective Fire Protection
DAVENPORT, IA (Oct. 8, 2012) – In honor of Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, Iowa American Water is reminding consumers about the importance of water infrastructure for fire protection, and providing tips for helping to maintain hydrants.
According to FEMA, fire-related deaths have dropped significantly, from about 12,000 in 1974 to 3,245 in 2006, and the number continues to decrease. Water infrastructure plays a critical role, for example, the increasing nationwide availability of highly pressurized hydrants allows emergency workers to extinguish blazes with increasing speed and effectiveness.
"Water service providers play a critical role in helping local firefighters safeguard communities," said Randy Moore, Iowa American Water president. "A full range of water systems are required to deliver water to hydrants and to ensure that adequate pressure and volume are consistently available. Iowa American Water invests about $10 million annually to make infrastructure improvements that benefit its customers, including needed upgrades to hydrants, booster stations and other systems that are critical to fire protection."
Moore notes that it's important for customers to know that a portion of their water bill helps to maintain the pipes, pumping equipment, and other systems that are needed to ensure water systems are at the ready to fight fires. "In addition to supporting fire protection, investing in water infrastructure helps maintain high-quality, reliable drinking water supplies, and also ensures economic growth and vitality for communities," he added.
Consumers can also play a role in helping to keep fire hydrants dependable and in good working order through 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.
If you have a fire hydrant on or near your property, please take a few minutes to clear away the snow so it is visible in the event of an emergency. Remember, quick access to fire hydrants benefits everyone.
If a fire hydrant appears damaged, is overflowing or the snow flag is missing, don't assume the authorities know about it. 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.
Iowa American Water maintains over 7,300 fire hydrants in its service communities inspecting all of them on an annual basis. In addition, the company maintains over 825 miles of water main in Clinton and the Iowa Quad Cities.
More information can be found on the company's website at www.iowaamwater.com and on its Facebook page.
About Iowa American Water
Iowa American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 200,000 people. 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 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
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