Telgian shares wildfire mitigation strategies for businesses

October 16, 2023
wildfire smoke

Telgian, an industry-leading fire protection firm, has published a comprehensive guide on wildfire mitigation strategies for businesses in light of the increasing number of wildfires globally.

The guide provides insights into how businesses located in the Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI) can take proactive steps to reduce the risks associated with wildfires.

Climate change amplifies wildfire risks

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), climate change has amplified the risks and extent of wildfires, especially in the western United States over the last two decades: “Climate change, including increased heat, extended drought, and a thirsty atmosphere, has been a key driver in increasing the risk and extent of wildfires in the western United States during the last two decades.”

Furthermore, the World Research Institute observes a global surge in wildfires, citing events from Canada to Australia, stressing the importance of understanding the underlying factors and adopting effective mitigation practices.

Business growth in the Wildlife Urban Interface

One significant area of concern is the expansion of businesses and housing developments into the WUI.

This transitional zone, where human development meets wildland, presents unique challenges for business owners.

The close proximity to wild vegetation increases the risk of fire incidents, emphasizing the need for effective mitigation practices.

Telgian’s approach to wildfire mitigation

Russ Leavitt, Chairman of Telgian Fire Safety, provides insight into the nature of fire mitigation: “Fire mitigation is defined as reducing the risk of property loss, personal injury, or death from fire.”

He adds that while complete elimination of these risks is impractical, significant measures can be taken to reduce them: “…there are a number of things that can be done at minimal expense to significantly lower the losses from fire.”

The primary focus of wildfire mitigation is the reduction of risks associated with airborne embers.

Simple practices, such as removing nearby combustible materials and maintaining a clean perimeter around structures, can significantly reduce the likelihood of a fire.

Implementing a protective barrier

Leavitt stresses the importance of a 5-ft. protective zone around buildings.

By ensuring this area remains free from combustible materials and using non-combustible landscaping techniques, the chances of a wildfire spreading to the structure are minimized.

Beyond this zone, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends creating fire breaks to disrupt a fire’s path and minimize the flame wall.

Such measures include maintaining grass height, keeping trees pruned, and ensuring the right spacing between mature trees.

Immediate actions for businesses

To bolster fire safety, Telgian recommends that businesses:

  • Trim trees near roofs.
  • Maintain a clear 5-ft. zone around structures.
  • Consult with local fire departments about risk levels.
  • Establish emergency action and evacuation plans.

For further guidance, businesses are advised to visit resources such as the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the USDA Forest Service.

FSJA Comment

The rise in wildfire occurrences due to climate change underscores the urgency for businesses to adopt robust fire mitigation strategies.

Telgian’s comprehensive guide offers actionable steps for businesses, especially those in the WUI, to safeguard their properties and communities.

As wildfires continue to pose significant threats, such proactive measures become essential for the safety and longevity of businesses.

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