Top 10 things business can do to minimize wildfire risks in business parks

Business Continuity - Disasters Happen

Top ten by Janco – Wildfire caused and increase business interruption risk as the number of companies that are located in business parks located in the outskirts of population centers increases.  This year scores of fires sparked by high temperatures, severe drought conditions and strong winds have blanketed the western part of the US, including Utah, California, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona, making this fire season one of the worst in history for this area. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), over 43,000 individual wild fires burned a record 6.8 million acres cross the West since January.  The wildfire season continues through early number and prediction of over 7.5 million acres is now being made by some forecasters.

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Janco’s Top 10 to minimize wild fire disaster planning risks

Remote Office Disaster

What can businesses do reduce the risk to properties? Janco’s guidance, supported by NIFC recommendations is:

  1. Have a clear area of at least 100 yards around the business park.
  2. Keep lawns hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  3. Landscape with native and less-flammable plants. When landscaping, choose slow-growing, carefully placed shrubs and trees so the area can be more easily maintained.
  4. Create a ‘fire-free’ area within ten feet of the property, using non-flammable landscaping materials such as rocks, pavers and/or high-moisture content annuals and perennials.
  5. Have no tall vegetation immediately adjacent to structures.
  6. Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting the property.
  7. Remove dead vegetation from around the property, especially within 50 feet of the premises.
  8. Remove flammable materials from within 50 feet of the property’s foundation and outbuildings.
  9. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground and none overhang the structure.
  10. Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.

Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.