Whether caused by humans or by nature, wildfires are unforgiving, destroying homes and property. It is critical for all who live in wildfire-prone areas to be diligent and take steps to defend their property and protect their families and pets from wildfires.
Here’s a list of steps to take to be prepared for wildfires:
Create a defensible space in two zones
Zone 1: The 30 feet nearest the home should be lean, clean and green. Ground cover plants, potted succulents and hard surfaces such as concrete, stone of asphalt work well in this space.
Zone 2: The next 70 feet around your home should have reduced fuel, including grasses kept to 4 inches or shorter, plants and shrubs spread out – not bunched together – in this area.
Install an irrigation system such as outdoor sprinklers for your defensible space.
Plant Spacing is Important
Spacing is critical for your trees and plants. Large trees should not have plants or smaller trees below them. This creates “vertical space”. Plants and shrubs should be planted to maintain “horizontal space” between them – the amount of space depends on the height of the tree or plant as well as the steepness of the terrain.
Home Free of Tree Limbs
Shorter trees are safer than taller ones, and no tree limbs should touch the home or other buildings. No trees should be within 10 feet of a chimney.
Reduce Fire Fuel
Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, branches, bark, cones or other debris that could serve as fuel for fire.
Emergency Water Supply
Have an emergency water supply. Water supplies that meet fire department standards include a hydrant, a cooperative storage tank with neighbors, or a pool or pond with a minimum of 2,500 gallons of water. Clearly mark any emergency water sources so first responders may easily spot them in an emergency.
Create and practice a home evacuation plan at least twice a year, so you and your family are ready if a wildfire forces you to evacuate.
Have an up-to-date home inventory list with photos and videos as well as details on the types of materials used in your home. It’s recommended to store your lists and images in a secure cloud for easy access in the future.
Insurance to Protect Your Home
Call Apollo Insurance Services at 800.426.1088, option 2 for a complimentary consultation to ensure the right amount of coverage is in place.
Report a Loss
Contact your insurer immediately if a wildfire damages your home. Do not remove any debris or damaged property related to the claim.
Apollo Insurance Services is dedicated to helping our customers protect their assets. Talk to us today to learn more about homeowners insurance and how it can help you in the wake of a wildfire.