Gateway Insurance

How to Prepare Your Home for Wildfires

Jun 25, 2014

When the Santa Ana winds are blowing, that usually means one thing - wildfires! When you live in California or any state that is prone to wildfires, you need to be prepared. When the embers start to fly, and you can clearly see the 40 feet high flames heading in the direction of your home, there is a good chance it is too late. First, use caution when you’re doing yard chores. When mowing or weed whacking your lawn, make sure there are no rocks that blades the can scratch against, causing a spark which could cause a fire. If water restrictions allow, water your lawn daily. Wildfires are a result of hot dry weather and a lack of water. There is nothing you can do about the hot dry temperatures in California, but you can keep your yard from being a fire starter. If you are BBQing or smoking, use extra caution. BBQ grills should be kept on a tile like patio with a fire extinguisher nearby. Smokers should always dispose of their cigarettes properly. Sadly, according to statistics from the CalFire, four out of five wildfires are started by humans who are careless. The following list has been retrieved from FEMA, it suggest some things you can do to protect your home from a wildfire.
  • Keep any type of woodpile at least 40 feet from your home (this includes wood that is in a shed)
  • Pine needles and leaves are another thing to consider, remove them from your property when they fall on the ground.
  • Keep your deck clean, sweep pine needles, leaves, branches or anything that could be a fire hazard off your deck, pick up and dispose of it.
  • Make sure you have an evacuation plan in effect and do practice drills. Make sure you have a good communication plan set up, in case you’re at work and the kids are in school.
  • Most importantly (aside from personal safety) make sure you have the best homeowners (including fire) insurance that you can afford.
You can also send a copy of all your important documents and favorite photos to a family member or friend who lives out of state. This will help keep the documents you need and special memories safe. For more information about homeowners insurance coverage in California contact Gateway Professional Insurance Services, located in Vacaville.
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