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While the western part of the country faces a heightened risk of wildfires, the reality is that wildfires have impacted nearly every state at some point. Annually, over 70,000 wildfires scorch more than 5 million acres of land, as reported by the National Interagency Fire Center.

Given the unpredictability of wildfires and the impossibility of making homes completely fireproof, it’s crucial for you and your family to take proactive measures to safeguard your safety and cherished belongings.

Smart Landscaping: To fortify your home against wildfires, establish a protective zone around your property that can impede the spread of flames. Within 30 feet of your home (extend to 50 feet in densely wooded areas or 100 feet on hillside locations), take these precautions:

  • Opt for native vegetation.
  • Plant trees with at least 10 feet of separation.
  • Remove dead or dying foliage.
  • Maintain trimmed vegetation, with lower branches six feet above ground and shrubs beneath trees no taller than 18 inches.
  • Keep your lawn well-kept, promptly disposing of clippings and debris.
  • Ensure an operational irrigation system.
  • Regularly clear roofs, gutters, and eaves of excess debris.
  • Trim branches to prevent overhangs near your roof or chimney.
  • Store firewood at least 50 feet away from your home, maintaining a 10-foot cleared area around it.
  • Properly store flammable liquids, and avoid connecting wooden fences directly to your home.

Building or Renovating Wisely: When constructing or renovating your home, choose materials that offer enhanced fire resistance:

  • Utilize non-combustible roofing materials.
  • Employ fire-resistant materials like treated wood for eaves, fascias, soffits, and subfloors.
  • Apply quarter-inch non-combustible screening to vent or eave openings.
  • Install spark arresters in chimneys.
  • Enclose deck undersides with fire-resistant materials.
  • Cover exterior walls with stucco, stone, or brick for increased protection, avoiding vinyl siding.
  • Opt for double-paned or tempered glass for exterior windows.

Preparation Before a Wildfire Strikes: Familiarize yourself with local disaster plans and develop a family evacuation plan. Identify escape routes from your home and establish a reunification point. Prepare an emergency kit containing essentials like water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, a weather radio, flashlight, batteries, work gloves, emergency cooking equipment, lanterns, clothing, blankets, medications, credit cards, cash, and important documents.

For more information, reach out to Knauf Maxwell Insurance Services today.

This document is provided for informational purposes only. The information provided herein is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should it be construed as advice regarding coverage. © 2024 Knauf Maxwell Insurance Services. All rights reserved