Fire Resilience for Businesses

Drought 01

Let’s face it, fires are scary. The California wildfires have devastated entire towns in California, and climate change will cause these events to occur more frequently with more intensity. It is now more important than ever to cultivate our community’s fire resiliency and adaptations. We all receive a lot of guidance about how to prepare for wildfires as homeowners, but have you ever considered how your business should prepare? Here are some tips for businesses to become more fire resilient and help their community adapt: 

Make sure your business is proactive and prepared for a fire on-site. 

  • Don’t forget the basics! Make it an action item to routinely check fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Consider replacing old safety equipment and investing in smart technologies (as needed).
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest fire safety guidelines and have a plan. If you are an employer, make sure all employees are made aware of what to do in the event of a fire and how to safely utilize your equipment in their onboarding process. It can be hard to figure out where to start, but you can find many helpful resources online that can break it down in a digestible way. For instance, check out this resource “Recommended Fire Safety Training Procedures for Employers in 2020” here for some inspiration on how to be more prepared. 
  • Did you know that many office/retail fires are caused by the same sources as home fires? Click here to see more information from the U.S. Fire Administration regarding workplace fire safety.
  • Keep your employees and patrons healthy. Fires in our communities create pollution both outdoors and indoors. We normally recommend servicing your heating and A/C at least twice per year, but consider checking and changing air filters more frequently if the season brings a lot of smoke to the region. This will also save you money!

Prepare your business for a wildfire.

  • Create defensible space. Keep vegetation far from your building. Select landscaping materials that are drought-friendly and less vulnerable to wildfires. Not only does this increase fire safety, but it also helps you save money and water!
  • Use non-flammable materials for signage, roofs, and decks if possible.
  • Screen vents with non-combustible metal mesh.
  • Sign up to receive public safety alerts and access emergency checklists and other resources from your local CalFire and your local utility company. Sign-up for CALFIRE alerts.

Go above and beyond!

  • Become (or support) a “1% for the Planet” business. Visit onepercentfortheplanet.org to see a list of businesses and how to join. These businesses are fighting to combat climate change, which is a catalyst for worsening wildfires. They even have a specific list of nonprofits directly working with wildfires here
  • Participate in team-building while adapting. Remember–you can donate more than your dollar! You can also give in the form of staff time. Participating in climate adaption volunteering is a great way to give back to the community while providing your team with a bonding experience.


Learn more about how your business can help combat climate change and worsening wildfires by becoming a Certified Green Business.