News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Reducing hazards at businesses

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District’s Fire Corps volunteers will be hitting the streets in downtown Sisters this week to introduce a new program aimed at lowering the risk of fire and other hazards at local businesses.

As a part of their normal duties, District firefighters have performed fire- and life-safety inspections for businesses within the City of Sisters. Due to COVID-19, the inspections were temporarily suspended. This new program is a supplement to the Engine Company Inspection Program and is meant to be a short-term solution for businesses until regular inspections resume, likely in 2022.

“We understand that the past 15 months have been very challenging for many of our local businesses due to COVID,” said Fire Chief Roger Johnson. “This new program is voluntary and is designed to be a quick resource that business owners can use to self-assess critical fire-safety issues at their business. Self-assessing will hopefully be less invasive for business owners who are just resuming normal business operations after COVID.”

Fire Safety Manager Doug Green said, “Fire Corps volunteers will deliver materials to local businesses this week and will be available to answer questions about the program, but their intent is to not disrupt business during the delivery.”

The self-assessment program will guide business owners through a simple checklist of fire- and life-safety hazards on the interior and exterior of their business such as ensuring their business address is clearly posted, fire lanes and hydrants are clearly accessible, exits unobstructed, flammables clear of the building, fire extinguishers are present and working, and other items.

Some items require a special inspection or testing by qualified personnel, such as fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and commercial kitchen hoods and ducts.

The Fire District also offers free, on-site inspections by a certified fire inspector for any business owner who would like to schedule one. To schedule an assessment, call 541-549-0771.

“Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility, and we are excited to work with our local business partners to make our community a safer place to live, work, and visit,” said Chief Johnson.

Business owners are encouraged to look closely at the landscaping features around their building. Bark mulch or flammable ground cover touching wood siding or decks is a dangerous combination for local businesses. Many fires start in bark mulch and smolder for hours before igniting other flammables. This is especially dangerous for local business owners whose buildings are close, or connected to, other buildings.

For more information, contact our Fire Safety Manager Doug Green at 541-549-0771 or email [email protected]


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