Davey operates in regions across the United States and Canada, including where fire seasons and changing climate increase the risk of fire on and around our job sites. Mitigating these risks is essential to our employees, our clients and our business, and Davey integrates fire prevention practices throughout our daily operations.
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Higher than average temperatures and ongoing droughts contributed to a voracious fire season in 2019. Dry conditions continue to affect large portions of our country. In arid locations such as these, our teams work where fuel-powered equipment, utility lines and dry plant matter could create the conditions for a fire event that could endanger Davey employees, customers, communities or the natural environment. In addition, our utility crews face exposure to fire risk while clearing and maintaining trees and brush around power lines.
In areas with fire risk, field employees complete a fire prevention curriculum we developed in collaboration with multiple fire safety and forestry agencies, including CAL FIRE, California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Our regional safety specialists and local management lead the training, which covers the mechanics, science and behavior of fire; environmental factors that contribute to the start and spread of fires; techniques and tools for assessing fire risk; fire safety equipment and techniques; proper refueling methods and equipment use; and regionally relevant fire history. In 2019 all employees in fire prone areas went through the Fire Prevention Training Program.
Fire Prevention Training Courses
*In 2015, we introduced new training that was presented to all employees in areas with fire risk. In 2016 and 2017, we returned to our normal training schedule. In 2019 it was integrated into the field safety training program ensuring each employee in areas with wild fire risk receive the training.
Davey employees remain constantly vigilant of fire risk. Each day, crew managers monitor weather and fire index levels. Managers will postpone a job if they believe the fire risk is too high. In addition, each employee has the ability and responsibility to suspend a job onsite if they feel it is too dangerous to continue.
Crews bring fire equipment to job sites when the fire index level is high, very high or extremely high. For safety purposes, crews will only use these tools to contain or extinguish small fires. If a crew member suspects a spark, local authorities are called to the site.