May 1st, 2021 was officially Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, and local events may be held through Oct. 31st. To support this initiative, and to help avoid home insurance claims, we’ve provided some tips on wildfire safety and prevention, which will help keep you and your home safe this summer. Wildfire prevention in BC is a big topic, and we hope the tips below will help keep you secure!
Clear Your Roof & Property
Dry leaves or foliage on and around your house are big hazards during wildfire season. Wildfires can start and spread quickly! Be sure to keep your roof, perimeter drains and overall property clean and clear. This should be done in the spring- well before the dry summer season starts.
Trim Back Trees & Shrubs
Trimming back trees and shrubs during the spring season is recommended for anyone living in a region that is at high risk for wildfires during the summer. Trim back any hedges or branches that are close to your dwelling to reduce the chances of them attracting a wildfire that could easily spread to your house.
Rake Out Landscaping Mulch
The mulch around your house, and on your property, can also attract wildfire. Raking mulch back a few feet from your home is suggested as a safety measure.
Have An Evacuation Plan & Checklist
You’ll want to have some sort of evacuation plan in mind or mapped out in case you need to evacuate your home and neighbourhood quickly because of a nearby wildfire. It’s important to have an evacuation checklist of things you need to do and what you need to bring with you.
Know 2+ Ways Out
If a wildfire in your area gets to a point where you need to leave the neighbourhood, you’ll want to have an exit plan. Map out at least two routes out of your neighbourhood so you and your family have more than just one option. The more route options you map out the better.
Designate A Meeting Point
You’ll also want to designate a pre-planned meeting point in case evacuations are required quickly and family members get split up. One meeting point option somewhat close to home is good to have, but it’s also good to have a meeting point further away from your area, in case you’re forced to evacuate the entire region.
Plan For Pets
If you have any pets, you’ll want to have an evacuation plan and checklist for your fur babies too. Proper safe transportation, as well as food, water, and any medications, are the main items that need to be considered and remembered if you’re forced to evacuate.
Store Away Outdoor Flammable Items
If a wildfire is anywhere close to your home, you’ll want to bring as much of your outdoor items inside as possible. This is especially the case for any outdoor items that are flammable, like patio furniture. Here is the 2021 wildfire prep day toolkit with more tips and info.
Close All Windows & Doors
In order to keep any wildfire smoke and embers outside, make sure all your windows and doors are fully closed. Even screened doors and windows can still let dangerous smoke inside your home, so close as much up as possible.
Screen & Seal Vents or Openings
If possible, it’s also advised to cover up any vents or openings which may allow smoke into your home. This may be trickier than simply closing windows and doors, but can definitely be worth the effort if it means keeping fire smoke outside and from coming into your home.
Contact An Insurance Professional
If you have any questions about keeping your home safe from wildfires and ensuring your home is covered from any wildfire damage, contact us today to speak to one of our insurance professionals. We’d be happy to help in any way we can, and we can also provide you with free quotes to compare!