The current drought conditions across much of California provide a dangerous threat of wildfires anytime there is a moderate to strong wind. If your home or business lies in the path of these fast-moving infernos, you could lose everything. This document is intended to help our policyholders prepare for the risk of a wildfire with helpful information, tips, and references.
To avoid a claim, be proactive. If a building survives a wildfire, it’s usually because the owners were prepared. Landscape your property with plants (like hardwood trees) that will help to contain fire instead of fuel it. Using fire-resistant or noncombustible roof and exterior materials will also help to lessen damage. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also evaluates fire-retardant chemicals safe for use on decks, roofs, siding and more.
Regularly clean out any gutters, keep fire extinguishers available and be sure to test smoke alarms once each year. Be mindful that you may need to document damages and take pictures. It’s always a good idea to take pictures or video of any property prior to a loss. To report a claim, call us at 888-468-7202.
If a wildfire is already starting to spread toward your location, there are several steps you can take to minimize damage.
- Create up to 100-foot safety zone around the building
- Remove all twigs, leaves and anything else flammable around the location
- Cut down any limbs that hang over the roof
- If any other vegetation (like vines) are on the building, remove them
- Review your insurance policy
Visit ready.gov to learn about other ways you can prepare for a wildfire.
If there is ever a wildfire approaching, call 911 and stay calm. Pay attention to changes in the speed and direction of smoke and fire when you leave the area. It is dangerous to stay in a car during a wildfire, but less dangerous than trying to escape on foot. If you wind up in a car, keep the windows up and air vents closed. Cover yourself with a blanket and wait until the main fire passes. You can even text SHELTER and your zip code to 43362 to find out where the nearest shelter is.
Additional information about wildlife safety and preparation:
U.S. Fire Administration’s Wildfire…Are You Prepared? & Part 2
How to build a disaster supplies kit
Family emergency plan
Implementing a plan in the workplace
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fire Weather
We hope you find this information helpful, and please be safe.
Thank you for your support and business.