CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Have you ever looked outside your home to see where the closest fire hydrant is? The distance is not only essential for firefighters to do their job, but also plays a role in how much you pay in homeowners insurance.
In some neighborhoods like the one we visited in Palmer, you don’t have to go very far to find a fire hydrant. That’s not the case in every community. The standard is a hydrant should be within 1000 feet of your home. If you don’t have a hydrant close enough to your home, you’ll likely pay for it in your homeowners insurance bill.
“It does play a role, there’s higher homeowners rates to contemplate the higher fire risk,” said Bill Trudeau, President & CEO of the Insurance Center of New England.
If you have a fire hydrant within 1000 feet of your house, it really won’t impact your homeowner’s insurance, but how do you know if they’re even working?
“Overall we do a flushing program on a yearly basis, usually takes us 3 years to get through the city,” said Alan Starzyk, Superintendent of Chicopee’s Water Department.
In Chicopee, that means they inspect about 900 hydrants a year. Flushing makes sure the hydrant valves are working properly.
“It’s hard to hit everyone every year, what we do have plans for is to flow that program will probably take a good five years to complete,” said Starzyk.
Flow tests both the volume of water and pressure at each hydrant.
Starzyk told 22News the majority of the hydrants that are out of service are because of car accidents, and they try to fix them as soon as they know there is a problem with it.