By Lisa Meadows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The winter season started with a snow drought, then slammed us with snow these past few weeks.

February’s snowfall has had people revving up snow blowers and shoveling sidewalks, but some have been missing a crucial component to keeping their homes safe: fire hydrants.

The St. Paul Fire Department posted on Facebook and Twitter Monday reminding people that when clearing the snow on sidewalks, be sure to clear snow around nearby fire hydrants also.

It can take firefighters three minutes to clear snow from around a fire hydrant. That amount of time could allow the fire to double in size in your home.

It is recommended that you clear snow at least one and a half feet away from around the entire fire hydrant. Once you do so the department says to take a picture or a selfie with it and post it to Instagram with the hashtag St. Paul Fire Department.

It’s a unique way the St. Paul Fire Department is using social media to keep the city safe.

Lisa Meadows