Safety tips to protect your home from wildfire

Wildfires are a real threat and present danger to many communities every summer

With the hot and dry weather back in town, and summer now well underway, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is urging vulnerable British Columbians to take precautions to prepare their homes this wildfire season.

“Wildfires are a real threat and present danger to many communities every summer. The best protection against loss, damage or injury due to wildfire is prevention. British Columbians should prepare now with these simple safety tips to protect your family and property,” says Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC.

Severe weather is on the rise across Canada. Events that used to happen every 40 years can now be expected to happen every six.

The incidence of severe wildfires is expected to increase significantly throughout BC’s forests, perhaps increasing by 50 per cent or more over the period through 2050 according to IBC’s Telling the Weather Story research report.

This makes it even more critical to know how you can protect your family and your home in the event of an emergency.

According to Emergency Management BC, on average, there are over 1900 wildfires with estimated damages costing over $160 million every year in British Colombia.

Wildfires move fast, can change direction unexpectedly and are often difficult to contain.

The unpredictable nature of such events is what poses the most significant threat to homeowners and the community at large.

Are you prepared? Consider these tips:

• Stay weather informed. Weather forecasts are vital in predicting fire behaviour.

• Pay attention to fire danger ratings Pay attention to fire prohibitions and restrictions to know the likelihood of a wildfire igniting in your region.

• Prepare a detailed home inventory.

• Check your smoke detectors.

• Assemble a disaster safety kit.

• Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.

• Prepare your home.

• Manage the space around your home. Remove combustible materials such as shrubs, trees and woodpiles within ten metres of your home.

For more tips on how to FireSmart your home click here: http://youtu.be/af4hPwpruvo

Are you covered?

• Talk to your insurance representative to ensure that you have appropriate home or tenant insurance coverage.

• Virtually every home or tenant insurance policy covers damage caused by fire, even if the fire begins on a neighbouring property.

• In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home as a result of insured damage are entitled to additional living expenses.

• Damage to vehicles from fire or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils automobile insurance coverage has been purchased. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90per cent of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

 

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.