Every year, wildfires rack up millions of dollars in damages. But they are inevitable and can hardly be prevented. Stopping them as they spread from one place to another while destroying everything in between is nearly impossible.
Local businesses often fall victim to wildfires in the US and face costly damages and loss of business. But, these damages can be minimized or prevented with some preparedness and a well-thought-out wildfire risk management strategy.
So here is how businesses can prepare for wildfires.
How Can Businesses Prepare for Wildfires: Buffer zones
Create buffer zones around your business’s property to prevent fire or embers from reaching and igniting materials around your building. Divide these zones into three different sections.
Set the first zone 0-5 feet from the building to stop direct flames from reaching the building. Remove trees and shrubs from the landscaping plans. Rather go for noncombustible materials like gravel and stones. After that, create the second buffer zone 5-30 feet from the building. Install hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks, and be mindful of vegetation in this zone.
The final zone should cover 30-100 feet from the building. Trees and shrubs should be spaced in this zone to avoid catching fire.
Routine maintenance is a crucial aspect of a wildfire risk management strategy. Keep the roof of the building and its surroundings clean and clutter-free. Remove leaves, dead pines, and any combustible material from the surroundings of the building and its roof. It should be done every season and especially after a storm.
Improve access points
Another important thing you need to do is improve the access points to the building for firefighters or help. It is a necessary step that will be useful during a fire breakout.
Clear the way to the building and make sure the road leading towards it is wide enough for a fire truck. It will ensure the help can reach in time without facing any hurdles.
The roof of a building is most prone to damage during a wildfire. That is why you must ensure that the building has grade-A roofing to prevent damage. It is crucial to safeguard the roof from airborne ambers. The roofing is graded C to A based on fire resistance, with A providing the most protection. So, consider A-grade re-roofing for higher protection from wildfire.
Having an evacuation strategy beforehand can prevent unforeseeable injuries. Plan your evacuation strategy and guide your employee on the same.
It is an important step and should not be avoided at all costs, as nothing is more important than your and your staff’s safety. So take help from a professional if possible but have an evacuation strategy in a time of need.
Be smart with storage
Be cautious about storing flammable objects in the building or its surroundings. Have smart storage solutions and remove combustible materials from where they can come in easy contact with an advancing fire.
Store propane tanks, wooden pallets, flammable liquids, and other combustibles wisely, as they can fuel and advance the fire even more. Keep them away from open spaces like roofs, balconies, pavement, front yards, etc. Plan your storage according to the possibility of a wildfire.
How can Businesses Prepare for Wildfires: Final Words
A wildfire is a natural occurrence. There is not much you can do about it. But having a wildfire risk management strategy in place can minimize the loss of your business and finances. Businesses often fail to strategize in such crucial times and face huge losses, and in the worst scenarios, it can lead to fatal injuries. So follow the above tips to ensure the safety of your employees and business.