Summer is in full swing and we’re all excited to finally be getting some sunshine, but this might not be the best news for forested lands and wildlife living in those lands. Lots of sun, wind and low humidity can lead to wildfires which can destroy thousands of acres of land and hundreds of buildings. Wildfires are “wild” because of their extreme speed when spreading. They can move as fast as 11 km/hour in forested areas and even faster (22 km/h) in grasslands. Because of this, there may not be enough time to react, however, there are steps you can take before a wildfire event that can help prevent it from happening and keep you safe.
1. Fire-proof Everything
All homeowners and business owners with offices know the importance of fire safety, but it’s necessary to take extra steps to reduce the risk of fire in areas that are prone to wildfires. To do this, ensure that roof coverings are made of fire-resistant materials to slow down the spread of a fire. As for roof vents, make sure to cover them with fire and corrosion resistant screens to limit damage and install spark arrestors on chimneys to prevent sparks and minimize embers from entering the property.
2. Set A Safety Zone
Safety zones, otherwise known as fuel reduction areas, protect your property from fire. One way to do this is by maintaining a 10 m distance between buildings, vehicles, high grass or forest-like areas. This also includes storing combustible and flammable materials that are usually located outdoors at a far enough distance from your property. If your property has lots of nature around it, it’s essential to clear dry or dead trees, grass, and leaves within 15 m of your building. Be wary of tree branches that can be deceiving in length and height. Ensure that they are a minimum of 2 m from the ground. For employees that smoke, establish a safe outdoor smoking zone, preferably a paved and guarded area where cigarette butts won’t start a fire.
3. Create A Response Plan
A wildfire response plan should not be confused with an evacuation plan. An evacuation plan is part of a response plan, as it usually describes what to do during a fire. Response plans, however, include what occurs before, during, and after a wildfire. Owners and managers/supervisors should create this type of plan and ensure it is accessible to all employees. It’s essential that evacuation routes are not only known but also practiced in the form of drills. Travelling along the path can significantly help your employees visualize what to do in a crisis. Assigning the safest place for employees to go to in case of a wildfire is also crucial for your employee’s health and wellbeing, whether that is across the road or in the company parking lot.
How Cambridge Insurance Can Help
Wildfires can be scary and cause extreme losses in assets. At Cambridge Insurance, we care about your safety and want to protect what you’ve worked hard for. From commercial property insurance to farm insurance, we are happy to provide you with many forms of protection. If you’re unsure which type of insurance your business needs or have any questions or concerns, give us a call today and we will be happy to answer your questions.