FireMiscPic1
It could save your Business


Business in Rural Areas

Wildland forest fires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate.  Crowning forest fires can spread up to 5.5 kilometres per hour, with spotting as far as 2 kilometres ahead. Windblown grass fires can spread at speeds up to 8.5 kilometres per hour.

In British Columbia, an average of 48% of all wildfires are caused by human activity.  Wildfire can also be caused by nature with 52% of wildfires in British Columbia being caused by lightning strikes.  Over the last several centuries, large areas of British Columbia have been burned repeatedly.

Over the last 10 years, on average, over 2,500 wildfires were started in British Columbia each year, consuming over 25,000 hectares of forested land annually. Thousands of families have been evacuated from their communities and hundreds of homes destroyed.

If your business is located near a forested region of our province, sooner or later you may have to contend with the spread of a wildfire.  The best protection against loss, damage, or injury due to wildfire is prevention.

Following the FireSmart principles can help reduce that risk.

Get Ready

Properly preparing your business doesn’t guarantee that you will not incur fire damage, but it does reduce the risks.  Obtain insurance coverage for all property at risk from fire.
Some of these preventative measures cost very little and reduce fire dangers by a great deal; others require planning and a long-term commitment to change.
There are three areas where you can apply FireSmart standards to protect or reduce the damage to the property should a wildfire strike.  Take some time review the attached Business Hazard Assessment document and make a sustainable plan that will FireSmart your business.

Site Preparation

Any kind of vegetation is combustible.
Mature trees, shrubs, grass, and woodpiles, are all potential fuels and can easily ignite, increasing the chance of ignition and loss.  Managing the space around your buildings and storage areas is of prime importance.
This diagram shows the Priority Zones surrounding an interface building or group of buildings.


Interface Priority Zones

First Priority Zone

FireProirityZoneDo you have a cleared zone around the buildings and storage areas?
The first 10 metres of space around the buildings and storage areas is the “First Priority”.  This is the most critical area to consider for fire protection, a good fuel free space gives firefighters a chance to save the buildings or stored products and supplies from an advancing fire.  Buildings and storage areas without a good fuel free space around them can make firefighting difficult, if not impossible.

What to do?
Remove any shrubs, trees, deadfall or woodpiles from this area and keep grass mowed and watered.

Second Priority Zone

The second priority zone extends 10 to 30 metres away from buildings and storage areas.  In this zone, you need to reduce fuels by thinning and pruning so that combustion cannot be supported.
What to do?
FireCrownSpacingRemove trees and debris that can spread fire upwards to become a fast spreading crown fire. Space trees so that the crowns of individual trees are 3 - 6 metres apart.

Low stand density where trees are widely spaced and crowns do not touch or overlap.  Remove or reduce the number of evergreen trees in the area.  Evergreens such as pine and spruce are much more combustible than deciduous trees.  In fact, aspen, poplar and birch all have very low flammability rates.
Remove deadfall, thick shrubbery and mature trees that might provide the opportunity for a ground fire to climb up into the forest canopy. Once a fire crowns out, it’s virtually unstoppable.
Because fires spread more easily up hill, it’s important to extend the second priority zone precautions further on downhill slopes and on windward exposures.

Third Priority Zone

Extend your FireSmart maintenance plan to the “Third Priority” zone.
The third priority zone begins 30 metres from any structure or storage area and extends to a distance of 100 metres and beyond.  The objective is not to remove all combustible fuels from the forest, but to thin the area so fires will be of low intensity and more easily extinguished.
What to do?
Thin or reduce shrubs and trees that make up the under story, retain fire resistant deciduous trees, space trees 3 - 6 metres between crowns to reduce the potential for a crowning fire.
These are simple economical steps anyone can take to create a FireSmart business site.  For these actions to be effective, they must be maintained.


Emergency Phone Numbers

Consider posting emergency response contact information at each telephone within your business.

Police Fire and Ambulance:       9-1-1
Report a forest fire call:             1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone
Power Line Issues or Outages:  1-888-POWERON or *HYDRO on a cell phone

For more information on fire prevention, detection, suppression, burning or travel restrictions, call BC Wildfire Management at 1-888-3FOREST or go to the prevention section of the website:  http://bcwildfire.ca/Prevention/
For more information on the B.C. Forest Service Protection Program, contact the office nearest you:

Northwest Fire Centre    
Bag 5000 Airport Road     
Smithers, B.C. V0G 2N0   
(250) 847-6600

Prince George Fire Centre
1011 4th Avenue
Prince George,  B.C. V2L 3H9 (250) (250) 565-6124

BE FIRE SMART!


 

Business Site Hazard Assessment

Rating Assessment

BUSINESS SITE HAZARD ASSESSMENT

Date of Assessment

 

 

 

 

Important Factors

Characteristics of Material

Point
Rating

Your
Score

Plan to Reduce Rating

 

What kind of roofing material exists on the buildings?

If there is asphalt shingles, metal, clay tile or ULC rated shakes

 0

 

 

If there are unrated wooden shakes

30

 

 

How clean are the roofs?

No needles, leaves  or other combustible materials

 0

 

 

A scattering of needles and leaves

 2

 

 

Clogged gutters and extensive leaf litter

 3

 

 

What is the exterior building material?

Non-combustible material, stucco, metal siding, brick

 0

 

 

Logs or heavy timbers

 1

 

 

Wood, vinyl  siding or wood shakes

 6

 

 

Are eaves and vents closed and screened?

Closed eaves  and vents with 3 mm wire  mesh

 0

 

 

Closed eaves  and vents with no mesh

 1

 

 

Open eaves,  open vents

 6

 

 

Are balconies, decks or porches screened?

 

 

 

All decks, balconies and porches are screened or sheathed with fire resistant material

 0

 

 

All decks, balconies and porches are screened or sheathed with combustible material

 2

 

 

Decks,  balconies and porches are not screened or sheathed.

 6

 

 

 

BUSINESS SITE HAZARD ASSESSMENT

Date of Assessment

 

 

 

 

Important Factors

Characteristics of Material

Point
Rating

Your
Score

Plan to Reduce Rating

How fire resistant are windows and doors?

Tempered glass in all doors/windows

 0

 

 

Double pane glass:
• Small/Medium
• Large

 

 1
2

 

 

Single  pane glass:
• Small/Medium
• Large

 

 2
4

 

 

Are buildings and storage areas set back from the edge of a slope?

Building area located on the bottom or lower portion of a hill.

 0

 

 

Building located on the  mid  to upper portion or crest  of a hill

 6

 

 

What type of forest surrounds your home, and how far away is it?

Deciduous trees  (poplar, birch)
within 10 metres of buildings

 

 0

 

 

Deciduous trees  10 - 30 metres from  buildings

 0

 

 

Mixed  wood (poplar, birch, spruce or pine) within 10 metres of buildings

30

 

 

Mixed  wood 10 - 30 metres from  buildings

10

 

 

Conifers (spruce, pine or fir)
within 10 metres of buildings
• separated
• continuous

 

30
30

 

 

 

Conifers (spruce, pine or fir)
within 10 - 30 metres of buildings
• separated
• continuous

 

10
30

 

 

What kind of vegetation grows in the zone around your buildings?

Well watered lawn or non- combustible landscaping material

 0

 

 

 

Uncut wild  grass  or shrubs
• within 10 metres of buildings
• within 10 - 30 metres of buildings

 

30
5

 

 

 

BUSINESS SITE HAZARD ASSESSMENT

Date of Assessment

 

 

 

 

Important Factors

Characteristics of Material

Point
Rating

Your
Score

Plan to Reduce Rating

 

Dead and downed woody material within 10 - 30 metres of buildings
• scattered
• abundant

 

 5
30

 

 

Are there abundant underbrush and ladder fuels in the surrounding forest?

None within 10 - 30 metres

 0

 

 

Scattered
• within 10 - 30 metres of buildings

 5

 

 

Abundant
• within 10 - 30 metres of buildings

10

 

 

The Wildfire Hazard Level for the business is:                   Total Score

 

 

Low less than 21 points     Moderate 21-29 points     High 30-35 points     Extreme >35 points


 

Other Factors

BUSINESS SITE HAZARD ASSESSMENT

Date of Assessment

Yes

No

Plan to reduce Risk

Other Important Factors to Consider

Do you have adequate insurance coverage on your building, storage area and property?

 

 

 

Do you have the necessary fire suppression equipment (shovels, rakes, buckets, hoses, fire extinguishers, etc.) easily accessible?

 

 

 

Are your burn barrels screened and at least 10 metres from combustibles and buildings?

 

 

 

Are overhead powerlines clear of vegetation and at least a tree’s height away from the nearest forest?

 

 

 

Are propane tanks clear of vegetation and at least 10 metres from buildings and storage areas?

 

 

 

Is the business within the Fire Protection Area?

 

 

 

Are chimneys safe, and clean?
Do chimneys have proper clearances and stack heights with proper screens and fire arresters?

 

 

 

Is there good access to the property for emergency response vehicles?

 

 

 

Is the area within 10 metres of buildings and storage areas free of trees, flammable vegetation and other combustibles?

 

 

 

Is there adequate water supply in case of fire?

 

 

 

Is there an emergency fire and evacuation plan?

 

 

 

 

Download an editable version of the
Household Emergency Plan

HouseHoldEmgPlan

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