Illinois American Water shares tips for Fire Prevention Week
infrastructure crucial to effective fire protection
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[October 10, 2012]
BELLEVILLE -- In honor of Fire
Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, American Water, the nation's largest
publicly traded water and wastewater utility, is reminding consumers
about the importance of water infrastructure for fire protection and
is providing tips on how the public can help to maintain hydrants.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 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
"Illinois American Water makes proactive and prudent
infrastructure improvements that benefit its customers, including
needed upgrades to hydrants, booster stations and other systems that
are critical to fire protection," said Karla Olson Teasley, Illinois
American Water's president. "Making investments into well-maintained
water systems helps firefighters to continue protecting the health
and safety of our communities."
Teasley noted that consumers play an important role in this
effort, as a portion of their water bills goes toward these critical
investments to keep their community's infrastructure strong.
Consumers can also play a role in helping to keep fire hydrants
dependable and in good working order through the following actions:
Keep fire hydrants
clear of debris. Although hydrants are usually located next to
the curb, avoid putting trash bags and recycling buckets too
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 yardwork.
Shovel the snow
and ice around hydrants. A municipal employee might be along to
do that at some point, but why wait until it's too late?
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
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.
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To further support local firefighting efforts, Illinois American
Water implemented a firefighting grant program in 2010. The program
was created to provide financial assistance to fire and emergency
organizations serving customers in Illinois American Water's service
Illinois American Water's Firefighter Grant Program awards grants
up to $1,500 to provide personal protective gear, communications
equipment, firefighting tools, water-handling equipment, training
materials and classroom programs. Since creation, the program has
resulted in 148 grants totaling approximately $173,000 awarded
across the state.
Illinois 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 or wastewater services to
more than 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a
customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research
laboratory in Belleville.
[Text from file received from
Illinois American Water]