Fire Safety Consulting For The Dual Threat Of Wildfires & COVID-19

Posted On: May 13th, 2020

Right now, the world at large is dealing with the impact COVID-19 has had on life in general. With lock downs in place and social distancing becoming a practical way to avoid spreading the disease, it’s hard to think of other threats right now.

The problem is that the virus isn’t the only thing that CA residents need to be concerned about. With the weather getting warmer, the threat of wildfires is very real. With wildfires in 2019 causing so much damage and upheaval, you have to be cautious.

So what happens if wildfires happen while the spread of COVID-19 is still a very real threat?

Fire Safety Consultancy and Wildfires 

Fire safety consultancy services provide help in many areas, such as helping businesses keep their buildings up to code and keeping customers as well as staff safe. What they also do is help minimize the threat and damage that wildfires can bring. This is especially true in CA, as wildfires are such a threat to the state.

They do this in several ways. One of the most important ways is by providing advice to homeowners, businesses, and lawmakers. They describe how wildfires can be prevented, such as creating ordinance for trash burning or advising how fireworks can be used. This advice goes a long way towards preventing wildfires before they can start.

When it comes to businesses, they can advise how new laws can be put into place to stop these wildfires from spreading. For example, financial incentives can be put into place for businesses to adopt these practices. Fines can also be put into place for those who do not.

Furthermore, they can use their expertise to enforce changes in how people act around fires. Whether that’s residents or businesses, everyone has their part to play in preventing wildfires.

The Possibility of Wildfires and COVID-19 Intersecting

It’s true that many countries are now seeing a slight improvement in COVID-19 infection rates, and so are looking at lifting some restrictions. While this is offering some hope that the virus is being handled and life will start going back to normal, medical professionals will be seeing cases for a long time to come. That’s why it’s important to consider COVID-19 when thinking about wildfire prevention and shelter strategies.

At the same time, most of the country has been seeing drought in what should have been the wettest part of the year. Northern California in particular has seen much less rainfall than was predicted. Because of this, the state is primed for wildfires in the coming months, something that officials have been preparing for.

If both the virus and wildfires intersect, this is going to cause new problems for those looking to stop the spread of both. It’s mostly going to cause problems for those looking to evacuate from stricken areas.

How will they be able to keep safe from both the disease and the fires in their state?

Stopping the Spread in an Emergency  

So if there is a wildfire while COVID-19 is still a threat, what can be done to help CA residents while still limiting the spread? It’s a difficult problem, as most solutions go against current health advice.

People will have to evacuate their homes and congregate together elsewhere. Usually this would be enough to keep them safe, but with the virus, this can put them even more at risk. Plus, there are concerns about patients breathing in smoke from fires, as it could exacerbate the respiratory illness.

The first and most important change recommended by fire safety consulting services is that evacuees aren’t grouped together. Traditionally, many cots are placed in a large space as possible in order to maximize how many people can be housed. In this situation though, this is of course a bad idea. Instead of using large areas like stadiums, buildings such as schools or hotels can be used. This helps enable social distancing, as people from the same household can stay in one space.

As with most health care centers, there will be measures in place to stop the spread in these areas. Those using shelters could be asked to use masks, practice regular hand washing, and maintain social distancing.

The Red Cross have also talked about the measures they would take in protecting anyone using shelters in the event of a wildfire. A way of stopping the spread would be to provide screenings for COVID-19 when people are admitted into the shelter. If anyone tests positive for the virus, they will be sheltered in isolation areas, to keep everyone safe as they wait.

All these measures can be put into place with small adjustments in how wildfires are currently tackled. If the measures are followed properly, the risk of COVID-19 being spread should be minimal. Thus, everyone will be kept safe.

Can You Stay Safe in the Event of a Wildfire?

So as you’ve seen, there are several issues to contend with should wildfires break out in the coming months. The biggest issue is how to shelter evacuees as traditional methods could put them at risk of COVID-19. But if sheltering methods are tweaked, to allow for social distancing, then evacuees can be kept safe.

The best way to avoid the two intersecting is to follow fire safety consultancy advice about prevention. There are a lot of advice out there for both businesses and home owners, so you can be sure that you’re doing your part. If you do this, then you hopefully shouldn’t see wildfires near you.

The risk of wildfires and the COVID-19 outbreak overlapping is very real, and California needs to be ready. With advice from experts, strategies are being put into place to avoid that from causing too many issues. If care is taken though, the risk of wildfires should be minimal.

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