Earlier this year, there were wildfire concerns in Rifle, Colorado that sparked the need to enforce fire protection rules and regulations. Wildfires are a huge hazard to home and business owners because they can be extremely destructive and hard to contain.

Across the state of Colorado, fire protection professionals are becoming more and more concerned by the lack of moisture. Forecasts from now through September predict above average temperatures and below average precipitation. Since there has been very little moisture and not a lot of snowpack in the high areas, there’s a better chance of wildfires.

In this blog, we will explain how wildfires can affect buildings and how to protect your business from a wildfire.

How Wildfires Affect Buildings

People don’t always realize that a building doesn’t have to come in direct contact with a wildfire in order to burn down. Just having a building in a wildfire prone area can put you at risk for fire damage.

Embers

When it comes to wildfires, burning embers are one of the leading causes of building and structure fires. The fire generates burning embers through plants, grass, shrubs, debris, etc. Then these embers can travel for long distances before they land. If these embers land on a building or on a combustible item, then it could spark a flame and ignite a fire.

Direct Contact

As a wildfire spreads, it can take down anything in its path including cars, houses, and buildings. So if the wildfire reaches your building, it’s going to be hard to stop it.    

Radiant Heat

Fire causes radiant heat, which is the warmth that you feel when you stand near an open flame. If a combustible item is exposed to radiant heat for a sufficient amount of time, it can ignite without even coming in contact with flames. Also as radiant heat spreads and items are exposed, it can make them easier to ignite when they do come in contact with a flame.

How to Protect Your Business from Wildfire

If a wildfire spreads through your city or town, it can be hard to stop it. However, there are a few precautionary measures that you can take to try to prevent the fire from reaching your building.

Create Defensible Space Zones

Defensible space zones are used to surround the building and reduce the risk of a fire. To build these zones, you’ll need to add plants and trees in each area to slow down or stop the wildfire.

  • Zone 1 (0-5 ft. from the building) should consist of non-combustible mulch, such as rock mulch.
  • Zone 2 (5-30 ft. from the building) should include trees and shrubs that are spaced out and well maintained.
  • Zone 3 (30-100 ft. from the building) should have trees and brush used to slow down or reduce the speed of the wildfire.

Have a Vegetation Management Plan

A Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) will provide information about the land. It will explain the the topography (slope and aspect), building locations, fuel treatment details (controlled burns, etc. to reduce the risk of a wildfire), and environmental concerns (endangered species, sensitive wetlands, etc.). This will help you build your defensible space zones and remain aware of your current conditions.

Install Fire Protection Equipment

The right fire protection equipment can make a significant difference in fire damage and the spread of a fire. If you have the right fire alarm and fire sprinkler system in place and an ember travels into your building and sparks a fire, the system can quickly extinguish the flame before it spreads.

Contact Frontier Fire

Frontier Fire has been the leader in fire protection equipment since 1960. We can install, inspect, and repair fire alarms, fire sprinklers, backflow devices, and more. Our goal is to secure every building we work on to prevent the spread of a fire.

If you’re in need of quality fire protection systems in Rifle, Colorado, then give us a call at 970-945-8735. We also have several other fire protection locations throughout Colorado and Utah.