From Fairfax County Fire and Rescue:
The winter months bring a special challenge to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Large winter storms can often hide fire hydrants under a mountain of snow making them difficult to find quickly. In the event of a fire, firefighters have to locate and shovel out fire hydrants before hooking up to them. Precious time is lost. It is critical that the fire and rescue department have access to hydrants during a fire. Locating and accessing an obstructed or covered fire hydrant may take 5-7 minutes once firefighters arrive on the scene.
Normally, firefighters attempt to shovel every hydrant in their first due area, but sometimes this is difficult. Please take some time to help firefighters have access to a fire hydrant---don't let your neighborhood hydrants remain "undercover".
We are asking for your help by keeping fire hydrants closest to your residence or business clear of snow. A three-foot clearance is needed on all sides.
Safety Tips: when shoveling snow, be aware of vehicle traffic. Do not stand in the street and be careful not to slip and fall.
The general public, associations, and civic groups (Boy Scouts, etc) may "adopt" a hydrant or hydrants in their neighborhood. If you volunteer to participate, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the location or locations of the hydrant(s) that you pledge to keep clear.