A wildfire, or forest fire, is an uncontrolled fire that occurs where natural vegetation is the predominant ground cover. Though wildfires usually occur in less developed, rural areas, they can threaten urban environments if they are not brought under control, and they are geographically widespread.
Impacts of a wildfire include direct property damage, cost of suppression and damage to personal property and natural resources. The severity of effects is directly related to the intensity and extent of the wildfire.
Below is a checklist of just some of the things to consider to prepare your business for such an event as well as to ensure the safety of the people within your organization.
Before the Onset of a Wildfire
- Keep an adequate number of appropriate fire extinguishers in strategic locations (such as near loading docks and waste collection areas) and maintain them properly.
- Train key employees and their backups on how to use extinguishers correctly.
- Consider maintaining a water supply at your facility to control small fires until emergency personnel can arrive. You might install a water tank or install hoses and pumps to an existing swimming pool, pond, river or lake. Be sure the hoses are long enough and inspect them regularly.
- If your business is located in an area subject to freezing temperatures, be sure that water outlets and pumps are protected.
- Evaluate water levels in extreme hot and cold weather conditions.
- If your water pump uses electrical power, consider obtaining a gasoline- or diesel-powered pump or generator in case electricity is cut off during a fire. However, be aware of the risk of storing a large quantity of fuel. Use an appropriate storage facility that is protected against vehicle impacts and fire.
- Have appropriate tools, such as rakes, axes, saws, buckets and shovels, available to help control small fires while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.