Wasting no time getting started on the S.P.L.O.S.T. fire hydrant project, employees of Georgia Hydrant Services (GHS) installed the first hydrant Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at the corner of Erica Lane and Dews Pond Road.
As one of several S.P.L.O.S.T. projects Gordon County has plans for over the next five years, some 400 plus hydrants will eventually be installed across unincorporated Gordon County. Not only will these hydrants be beneficial to Gordon County’s Fire Department, but they will also benefit its citizens. According to Deputy Chief Byron Sutton, “Many homeowners and business owners may not know that the installation of a single fire hydrant near their home or place of business may greatly reduce the amount of money they pay for their home and business insurance. Home and business insurance premiums are based on a specific classification determined by an independent agency contracted by the insurance companies to evaluate the available fire protection for the specific property. This is what we in the fire service know as the Insurance Services Organization (ISO).”
According to Fire Chief David Hawkins, “We used to have a little money in our annual budget to install a few hydrants every year; however, with the downturn in the economy, the funds just haven’t been available for fire hydrants.”
Lieutenant Joey Jordon of Gordon County Fire’s Prevention Division said, “a crew from GHS began the project Tuesday, and will initially be concentrating on the side roads and streets that feed off of Dews Pond Road. They (GHS) wanted to start on some of the less busy streets and roads in order to observe the traffic patterns. “Once they determine the least busy times for traffic, they will begin installation on the main thoroughfares. As the project gets underway, GHS will consider adding at least one more crew to work simultaneously with the first crew in order to get this year’s hydrants installed as soon as possible.”
As stated earlier, the first phase of installation is in the Dews Pond Road and subsidiary roads. Homeowners and business owners should be cognizant of crews working near their homes and businesses, check to see if it’s a new hydrant being installed, and if so, consider contacting their insurance agent and ask for a reevaluation. A fire hydrant within 1000 feet of a structure should net the structure owner a significant savings concerning their insurance on their home or business. The fire department is putting signs in the areas to remind citizens that these fire hydrants are their S.P.L.O.S.T. dollars at work.
These hydrants are ultimately for the benefit of the homeowners and businesses that are insured by helping to reduce the amount of premium one should have to pay for insurance on their structure. Should citizens have questions concerning fire hydrants, they should contact Lt. Joey Jordon of the Gordon County Fire-Rescue Fire Prevention Division at 706-629-7741.