Wildfires have been torching California and the west this summer. It goes to show that there’s no better time to think about a Fire Preparedness Plan that involves the Cloud. In fact, fire/drought account for the largest portion of natural disaster-related deaths in the United States, according to the PRB (Population Reference Bureau). Fires can be spontaneous; electric fires, wildfires, kitchen fires, and flammables can pose serious threats to your family, home and business. For your business’ vital data, the Cloud is a safe, secure, and compliant response to any disaster threat including a fire. Here’s how to prepare your workplace for a fire:
1. Create an itemized checklist
Your building should be up to date on National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) codes and standards. Have your landlord or building owner ensure compliance. Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, walls, and piping should adhere to the NFPA’s regulations. You should know the point of contact who is responsible for meeting NFPA regulations. After checking up on these systems, create a checklist that outlines time and dates of testing appliances.
2. Identify potential hazards
Recognizing flammable products, fire-prone products, and potentially hazardous situations. This includes fireplaces, stoves, ovens, paint, gasoline, and more. By simply putting warning labels, instructions, or caution signs on things that are serious fire threats can help reduce the risk. It’s also important to consider the location of your home or business. Is it situated in a notoriously dry, hot climate where wildfires are prevalent? Identifying these dangers can help you more quickly react and respond to a fire.
3. Test equipment:
Your business should have someone that performs monthly smoke detector checks and records the date of installment, ensuring that all systems are up to date and functional. Fire extinguishers should be available in fire-prone areas and employees should know where they are located. Sprinkler systems and alarm systems should also be maintained so that they are ensured to work. When’s the last time you’ve checked your business’ smoke alarms and fire equipment?
4. Create and Practice an Evacuation plan
It’s not enough to inform employees about an evacuation plan during the on-boarding process. Every employee, regardless of status and seniority, should be reminded of and practice the evacuation plan at least twice a year. This includes posting evacuation routes and procedures on doors and stairwells, knowing when to call the fire department, and signaling for help if needed.
5. Protect Data
Backup your data in the case of a disaster in your data center. Servers can easily overheat, triggering faulty sprinkler systems. A wildfire could burn near your data center, spreading so quickly that you aren’t able to rescue all of your business’ data or salvage your data center during evacuation. Putting your data in the Cloud creates peace of mind and assurance that your business’ core resources are protected from fire and disaster. And, if your employees are unable to return to work due to heavy smoke and fire threats, they’ll be able to access critical data remotely in the Cloud.
In the Cloud, you’ll be able to scale up or down based on your business’ needs. You’ll also be able to quickly and easily restore your data in the case that disaster does occur. You pay for what you use and avoid hardware costs, facility maintenance, and precious IT resources.
The Bottom Line:
Your business relies on its data to consistently operate and grow. Backing up data to the Cloud ensures you’ll have access to in the event of a fire or disaster. Your Fire Protection Plan should also include a Disaster Recovery Plan. With a Cloud-based DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) solution, your business will recover faster (normally 15 minutes or less) from not only fires, but any disaster. You’ll have access to your systems from any internet-connected location. For example if you must evacuate your building for an extended period of time due to an approaching wildfire, you’ll be able to do business remotely.
We want you to feel in control and confident that your data and network can be accessed at any time, anywhere. We’re here to help you prepare for a disaster and ready to help you find a customized solution unique to your business.