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Is Your Home Prepared for Fire Season?

Posted May 15, 2020 in Homeowners Insurance

2 Minute Read: 

The increasing intensity of wildfires in certain parts of North America is cause for concern. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), large loss fires caused $12.91 billion in direct property damage and losses in 2018. And the projected figures for 2020 and beyond may rise even higher.

Fire raging in the hills above Corona, CA, coming dangerously close to homes.

While no home can be truly fireproof, there are steps property owners in fire-sensitive regions can take to lower the damage risk. As fire season approaches, consider spring (or summer) cleaning as a yearly ritual for protecting your home.

If you are a homeowner looking to protect your house and belongings, contact Gallant Risk & Insurance Services, Inc., by calling (951) 368-0700 or by filling out our online contact form to learn more about homeowners insurance.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Vegetation collects in gutters and, once it dries, becomes highly combustible from a fire’s airborne sparks. 

To protect your home, you should clear gutters completely at least once a year. If you don’t already have a rainwater collection system, consider connecting one that feeds from the gutters and downspouts. This can prove handy in times of drought when watering lawns and other vegetation becomes especially important.

Clear a 10-Foot Space Between Your Home and Any Trees

The idea here is to create a defensible space around your home. Maintaining a gap between buildings and vegetation may slow a wildfire, and possibly direct it around and away from your home, minimizing damage.

Prune Trees and Shrubs

The NFPA suggests that tree branches should be kept a minimum of six feet from the ground and shrubs planted near or under trees should be no more than 18 inches high. Again, this helps deter vegetation from catching on fire, and fires from jumping from vegetation to your home.

Dispose of Lawn Cuttings and Flammable Clutter Around Your Property

If you live in an area with seasonal fire alerts, keeping the exterior of your property free from clutter is important. Don’t let cuttings or clippings accumulate. And don’t store any flammable material (such as paper or cardboard) around your garage or yard.

Consider Exterior Renovations That Use Fire-Retardant Materials

Technology is constantly upgrading the fire-resistant properties of construction materials. However, old build homes may still be clad in things like vinyl siding, which are not resistant to heat. Exterior walls will be safer covered with fire-resistant materials, such as stucco, stone or brick.

Clear Address Signage

This may sound like a small thing, but, in an emergency, you want responders to find your home quickly and easily. To help this, make sure street numbers are clearly visible.

These days wildfires seem inevitable. And it’s along the urban/wild interface where many housing developments are situated that fire can be most destructive. That is why homeowners should head into each fire season fully prepared to decrease the chances of loss and damage.

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