With snow on the ground, you'll be out shoveling anyway. It may be worth taking the extra few minutes to clear off the fire hydrant on the corner.

This time of year there are lots of fires as people turn to electrical heaters and as people overload their outlets with Christmas lights and other electronics.

Unfortunately, it takes the fire department longer to put out a fire if they have to clear snow away from the fire hydrant first.

Bismarck encourages residents to "adopt a hydrant" and take the initiative to clear snow from fire hydrants and the area surrounding it. This is useful for residents in all other towns and cities as well.

If you are out shoveling and see that a nearby fire hydrant is covered with snow, please take the extra few seconds to clear the snow off of it. It could save some of your prized possessions or even a life.