Business owners here on the west coast are painfully aware of the destruction wildfires can cause. Fire damage repairs can be incredibly costly – leading to business interruption and potentially threatening the health and livelihood of your staff.
In this blog, we’ll look at several wildfire protection tips you can implement for your business to boost your level of preparedness and assurance in the face of raging fires.
To understand wildfire and the destruction they can cause, here’s some facts about them you may not know:
- Wildfires can travel at up to 14 miles per hour.
- The power of a wildfire can increase due to strong winds, dry vegetation, and more
- The risk of wildfires can be stronger when the weather starts to cool off in early autumn, as trees, grass, and other vegetation may have lost any moisture that might otherwise stem the blaze.
- Even if you’re in a city far from the actual wildfire, the toxic smoke will travel and can cause breathing issues
- Embers can be carried in the wind, being able to cross highways or vulnerable areas, leaving evacuation as the safest course of action in the face of a wildfire.
Building a Disaster Preparedness Team for Your Business
When there is a threat of a wildfire, your business must have a disaster plan in place, so your team knows the steps necessary to take. It’s important to set up established lines of communication between departments and an open exchange of information according to established procedures when wildfires threaten your business. Some of these procedures include:
- There should be clear evacuation procedures posted near every major exit.
- Fire drills should be held every three months for high-risk areas; for low-risk areas, it’s still important to aim for at least two drills a year (depending on staff turnover and hiring periods).
- Prepare a comprehensive list of emergency contacts, including key staff members, first-responders, and insurance representatives.
Goals of Every Fire Drill
The following are some of the most common goals of fire drills for businesses:
- Meet every compliance measure that is outlined by your local municipality’s fire code
- Ensure that every staff member and employee has memorized the evacuation steps in a safe environment
- Evaluate the ability of employees to meet emergency protocols, such as where to congregate to stay safe away from the wildfire.
Build Perimeter Protection
To minimize the damage from wildfires, clear the space around your facility. Leave about 25” of open area around the property to halt the fire in its tracks. You may need to remove all combustible material from the property, such as wood, and replace it with metal. Additionally, be sure to regularly remove any vegetation that can spark a fire or provide fuel.
When your building is being threatened by fire, make sure to close any vents around the building. This will ensure that you can prevent contaminated air and debris from getting in to protect the property from soot and smoke damage.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Wildfires are unpredictable and potentially devastating, so your insurance coverage can play a pivotal role in protecting (and restoring) your livelihood. Be sure to check your current policy before wildfires threaten your property to understand what your coverage limits are before it is too late. If you feel that your coverage is too low, you can boost it with bigger umbrella coverage.
Choose ServiceMaster Restoration Services by Ideal Group for Fire Damage Repairs
After a wildfire ravages your area, chances are you’ll need professional fire damage repairs. ServiceMaster Restoration Services by Ideal Group specializes in recovering from residential and commercial fire damage. Our company is here to get you back to normal without stress, answering every question you may have, resolve all problems, and help you prepare so that your business doesn’t suffer after a blaze. From meticulous odor removal to vital construction services, our resources are enough to keep you afloat during a turbulent time. Call us today to learn more!