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Wood Products and Lumber Site Loss Control Measures Amid a Pandemic

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Warren Olaya

By: Kevin Mershimer, CIC, CRM, CSP, Wood Products Practice / Horton Risk Advisory Solutions

The recent pandemic has impacted many of us and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months. While individual states have taken more aggressive measures to control the outbreak than others, soon enough, all projects will be significantly affected if they have not already.

  • What do you need to know to protect the physical products, such as wood/lumber, the structure, and site of your job(s)? 
  • What are some best practices when the job site does officially shut down, and the site is left vacant?
  • We’ve included a variety of recommendations and considerations to help you answer these questions.


  • Check your fencing and move all products 4-feet inward from the fencing.
  • Secure and lock all gate entrances to the site.
  • Vegetation should be removed from both sides of the fencing.
  • Highly consider posting “No Trespassing” signs.
  • If the location does not have security lighting; you should consider adding it.


  • Any security, heat, or smoke detection devices should be checked and verified that they are in good working order.
  • Cameras should be set up to be viewed from home.

Security Guard Services

  • Consider hiring a guard service to monitor the site.
  • Ask neighbors to keep an eye out for the property, if possible.
  • Notify local police to ask them to do periodic drive-by visits.

Theft Protection

  • Store all materials out of plain view such as forklifts and lumber.
  • Board the doors and windows if possible.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Any equipment onsite should be appropriately secured and stored in well-lit areas.
  • Keys to all vehicles should be removed and stored somewhere safe.


  • Consider shutting off any utilities (e.g., natural gas) that comes into the site when possible.
  • Propane on forklifts should be shut off and leads to batteries disconnected.
  • Ensure sprinkler systems are on and valves are locked in the open position.
  • The sprinkler alarm service should be notified about the closure.
  • All appliances and extension cords should be unplugged.
  • Breakers should be shut down to saws or manufacturing equipment.
  • Pallets should be stored away from buildings by 75-feet

Water Damage:

  • Do your best to secure all doors and windows.
  • Verify that the roof is appropriately enclosed and the water drainage from the roof is free of blockage.
  • Shut off the water to the site when possible.
  • Check the site drainage.

Each carrier defines “vacancy” differently and it’s worth having the conversation with your broker, including a policy review.  Some policies allow 60-days before the policy changes.

If some of your employees are able to work from home, rules should be established for home workspaces.  If you don’t have a work from home policy please reach out and we will assist you in setting up your policy.  If you have any immediate questions or concerns about your job site situation, please contact a Horton team representative.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.