Is Your Community Ready to Fight Fire?
This summer, fires have blazed through the western states, torching many acres of forests, hundreds of homes and acres property. Wildfires have spread quickly across California and can blaze out of control due to the warm, dry weather conditions of the state but that doesn’t mean it could not occur in another region. Heavy rainfall this spring in some states leads to an increase in vegetation growth which ultimately can lead to an increased fire danger when those plants dry out in the summer heat. Fire can affect any community in an instant.
So while you may not expect your community to be in direct danger of a wildfire, grass wildfires and building fires are a real and present danger across all communities. Currently, almost half of the US is experiencing some level drought (source) which means fires may start or spread onto your property by means that usually are not a concern. Are your buildings and property properly protected from fire? Have you taken steps to reduce your risk?
Preemptive planning and risk assessment can go a long way to protect your buildings and your citizen’s homes against fire – wildfire or not. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are many fire prevention steps you can take to reduce your fire risk. These include:
- Practicing Fire Safety. This can include teaching citizens about fire safety, planning employee escape routes from city buildings and ensuring all of your buildings are easily accessible by fire crews.
- Prepare For Fire. Create a safety zone around buildings; within this zone, keep the ground free of leaves, dead vegetation and flammable and combustible objects or materials. Teach employees how to use a fire extinguisher. Service your facility’s fire sprinkler system. Invite the fire department to visit your facility to be sure any emergency vehicles can access your property quickly and to benefit from their insights into prevention. Know how fire may start at your facility. Please check out the resource guides below for additional details that apply to your specific situation.
- Plan For Disaster. From knowing where an outside water source is located to having emergency supplies easily accessible, this is the most important part of fire prevention. Having a disaster plan can help maintain order and ease fear when fire disaster threatens. Post emergency phone numbers in several locations and ensure all employees know basic first aid and CPR.
Fire prevention is a practice that should be implemented into your entity’s risk management plans. Your entity can be working with your fire department to devise emergency plans and mitigate risk. Fire is not a danger that is 100% preventable but it is one that we can be 100% prepared to handle.
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