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We have a fire hydrant across the street. I really didn't think much about it. Then one day, our local fire department representative showed up at the door. His request was that we keep an eye on the area around it as the snow built up. They would continue to drive around and clear as needed, but it would help a lot if we would help take care of ours.

Nationally, the same idea is spreading in areas where it snows. Clearly, it is one of those items where a little prevention can ensure there isn't a much bigger problem when hydrants are needed. A apartment fire two years ago left 64 families homeless. The local fire deaths totals in 2008 was 49, which is up from 40 in 2007.

If you are involved with a house fire:

Keep in mind that time limits for making a claim can be very short.

Make sure you review your home insurance coverage quickly and thoroughly.

Also consider contacting an experienced Attorney to help you.

Fires come quick and destroy a lot. Do what you can beforehand to make sure the firemen can get to your local hydrants.

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