Wildfires affect religious organizations too
Each year, several Church Mutual customers are affected by wildfires. These fires are capable of spreading quickly during dry, hot summer months. They often result in large losses due to their rapid spread and a general lack of preventative measures. To reduce your organization’s risk of wildfire-related losses, it’s important to learn about and prepare for wildfire risks in your area.
Preparedness is key
A wildfire can spring up instantly and grow rapidly in size, moving across a region with no regard for what lies in its path. These measures can help deter property damage in the event of a wildfire:
- Design and landscape property with fire prevention in mind: plant fire-resistant trees and shrubs and keep a 100-foot clearance zone around buildings.
- Clear all vegetation that overhangs roofs or resides on the building structure.
- Contact the electrical company about clearing branches near power lines.
- Maintain an adequate water source on the premises.
- Maintain an up-to-date emergency plan that designates safe areas, escape routes and means of communication in the event of a fire. A place for temporary relocation also should be identified.
- Maintain a sufficient insurance policy that carries adequate coverage limits for your buildings and contents.
- Store flammable liquids in appropriate, labeled containers away from combustibles in a well-ventilated location. Never store flammable liquids or materials in a boiler room. Consult your local fire department for more guidance.
- Be informed about the latest fire news and information from your local media and fire departments.
In the event of a wildfire
In the event of an approaching wildfire, safety must be the key priority. Be sure to follow the directions and advice of local authorities and consult your organization’s emergency plan.
When it is safe to return to your facility, inspect for damage, making sure to take extreme caution when examining any areas that were affected by the wildfire. If you discover any damaged property, contact your insurance company to report the loss as soon as possible. Ask if you should make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
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