OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city of Oak Ridge is reminding residents to keep fire hydrants on their properties visible.

To help make the hydrants stand out, the city has been repainting them. During this process, the city said they have found quite a few overtaken or obstructed by vegetation. This is dangerous as it takes away time that could be used to put out a fire.

Oak Ridge fire hydrants before and after being painted.

City codes require a 3-foot clearance around the hydrant. The space allows firefighters to quickly access the water needed to put out a nearby fire. If the space is not maintained, the City can remove, cut, prune, or clear the area. For an emergency fire situation, fire crews are allowed to do whatever they need to do to gain access including clearing the area.

“We are in the process of repainting hydrants to make them easier to see and have been noticing a lot of overgrown vegetation obstructing access to hydrants,” said Oak Ridge Fire Marshal Eric Rackard. “So, we would really like to give residents, who may not be aware of this ordinance, an opportunity to maintain the area on their own so that it is cleared in the way they’d like their property around it to appear before we come in and do it ourselves.”

To view City Codes related to pruning and clearance around a fire hydrant, visit OakRidgeTN.gov/Fire-Hydrant-Codes-and-Policies.