Adopt-A-Hydrant Program


Southborough firefighters need your help with increasing the safety of lives and property in our community by joining our Adopt-A-Hydrant program.

During the winter months, fire hydrants throughout our community become buried in snow and ice, which makes it hard for firefighters to find and operate them. Time spent by firefighters searching for and clearing hydrants buried in deep snow, drifts, or plowed snow or covered in ice, is precious time lost that could be spent saving a victim's life or extinguishing a spreading fire. A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds and it can take firefighters over 5 minutes to fully clear hydrants for use, so every second saved is truly vital to a positive outcome.

The Adopt-A-Hydrant program urges residents, business owners, students, and civic groups to adopt one or more fire hydrants close to their home or business and keep it/them clear of snow and ice throughout the winter months following the safety considerations and guidelines for clearing listed below. Participants are also asked to help keep the area around fire hydrants clear of weeds, leaves, and shrubbery during the warmer months and report any damage or issues to the Department of Public Works.

Participants are encouraged to take photos with their cleared hydrants and share them with the Southborough Fire Department Facebook Page or email the Fire Department.

For more information, questions, or if you are a student who would like to adopt a hydrant as part of your community service requirements, please email Firefighter Matt Rice.

Thank you for your help, you will truly be making a difference.

By sharing/emailing photos, participants authorize the content to be posted publicly. The Southborough Fire Department reserves the right to deny posting or edit photos as necessary.

Safety Considerations for Clearing Snow From Fire Hydrants

  • Always wear highly visible and proper weather-related clothing when clearing snow from hydrants.
  • Be especially cautious of fallen and snow-covered debris, live wires, etc. following storms.
  • Do not stand in the road to shovel the hydrant and always be aware of all hazards including traffic.
  • If you experience shortness of breath or chest pain STOP immediately and call 911 or seek medical attention.
  • Whenever possible have a second person act as a lookout for hazards and traffic.

Guidelines for Clearing Snow From Fire Hydrants

  • Clear any snow and ice accumulated on the hydrant by hand, do not use tools that could damage the hydrant.
  • Clear at least 3 feet in all directions around the hydrant.
  • Do not paint, mark, alter, or otherwise personalize any fire hydrants.
  • Do not put the snow cleared from the hydrant back into the street, in driveways, on the sidewalk, or any other right-of-way.
  • Hand shoveling or using a snowblower is the best option for clearing snow from a hydrant, do not use a snowplow.
  • If you observe any damage or water or ice coming from any opening, please record the closest address to the hydrant and call the Southborough Department of Public Works at 508-485-1210.