Forest Fire

Jul 16, 2019
Preparing for fire season

{Sponsored} As wildfire season gets into full swing, greenhouse owners need to ensure their property is ready and at the lowest risk possible of being impacted by wildfires. Any grower near nature or wildlife areas in California should be seasoned in and familiar with Cal Fire’s recommendations, but as wildfires consistently move to areas that are suburban, all greenhouse owners in California or any other state with a wildfire risk should consider adopting the strict recommendations Cal Fire puts out.

Even if your greenhouse is outside of California, you may be at risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute, these states experienced the largest number of acres burned in 2018: California, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, Idaho, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Alaska. Read more about the risks here: https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-wildfires

Cal Fire’s recommendations include the distances around buildings where grass should be trimmed and all debris removed including wood piles, the height of the lowest branches on trees on the property, and much more.

Greenhouse owners should pay attention to these requirements and have employees to assist in cleaning up small debris such as twigs and leaves. Mow grasses as often as needed to keep them under 4”. Cal Fire also recommends mowing before 10 a.m. and only on a day without wind, and use a string trimmer if possible for removing vegetation as they are less likely to blow clippings into the wind – and so are a lower risk for increasing wildfires in the distance. View all of Cal Fire’s recommendations at  http://www.readyforwildfire.org.

Beyond the exterior features, here are some other suggestions greenhouse proprietors should consider to keep fire at bay

  1. Check your hydrants. Ensure they are working properly or that you had adequate water storage in case of fire. Be sure firefighters can access the tank easily.
  2. For wells, keep an emergency generator on hand to ensure water can be pumped from the well if the power fails.
  3. Keep fire extinguishers handy
  4. If the greenhouse does become inflamed, allow professionals to handle the control efforts; know that you and your employees should flee the scene for a safe location.

For personnel safety and recovery, also check that these items are covered:

  1. Create and maintain an emergency exit from the property with multiple paths in case one is blocked by a wall of fire. Ensure your employees know where to go and keep a roster handy so you can check for everyone’s safety in the event of emergency evacuation.
  2. Back up all of your data off-site. It is a good plan to have redundant back-ups. This means that day-to-day data is stored in an external hard drive that is ready to go in an evacuation situation, and once a week the hard drive is backed up to a separate location.
  3. Be sure your insurance is up to date to cover the value of your business, your employees, and any other requirements for a catastrophic emergency. Contact your Hortica representative to make sure your policy is current and active.

Contact your Hortica® agent every six months to update your coverage so you can be assured you are covered in any event at your facility or on the road. This may mean a combination of business insurance or general liability. The insurance world is complicated, but with Hortica, you don’t have to sort through it alone. They’re here to help.

Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Company, and Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit hortica.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details.

 

This document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. No one should act on the information contained in this document without advice from a local professional with relevant expertise.

 

77-69F                                                                    14003256 6/18/19

 

© 2019 Hortica


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