Reduce your home’s risk for wildfires.
If the devastation of the last year has taught Californians anything, it is that wildfire risks are not something to ignore. From the Thomas fire that ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to the deadly Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, hundreds of homes have been lost in the blaze. Now, California homeowners can no longer ignore the threat that wildfire poses to their loved ones and property. To ensure that your home is ready to face wildfire risks head-on, here are some of the precautions you should take.
Create Defensible Space
Defensible space refers to an area surrounding your home that is completely devoid of anything flammable. The idea is to create a safety zone between your home and a fire. Your home’s defensible space should consist of two zones. Zone 1 should extend about 30 feet from the structure of your home, and should be cleared of any flammable plants, debris, and other materials such as lumber.
Zone 2 extends 100 feet from your home. While this area doesn’t need to be completely devoid of plant life, plants should be laid out with adequate space between them to prevent all the plants on your property from catching fire. Zone 2 should be kept clear of fallen leaves, pine needles, twigs, pine cones, and small branches. You should also ensure that the grass in Zone 2 is kept at 4-inches or shorter.
Be Ready for Evacuation
If you live in an area prone to wildfires, you need to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation. Your household should have a plan that details all possible escape routes and where you will meet up if you are separated during the evacuation. Additionally, you should have a family communication plan that uses a non-local friend or family member as a point of contact. It’s also important to have an emergency evacuation kit assembled. This kit should include things like drinking water, food rations, first-aid supplies, a change of clothes, and so on. Finally, be sure to pack important documents, financial information, your home inventory, etc. If you have pets, make sure you have their emergency supplies ready as well.
Make Sure Your Home is Covered
Unfortunately, many California homeowners do not have enough insurance to rebuild their homes in the event that they are burned down by fire. If you are underinsured, you will be responsible for the cost of rebuilding your home. To avoid this considerable financial burden, it’s important to review your homeowners coverage on an annual basis. During your review, be sure to adjust your coverage to keep up with inflation, increased property values, increased labor costs, and increased material costs.
These are some of the steps that you should take to prepare for a wildfire. Ready to speak to insurance experts who have experience with California’s fire risks? If so, contact the team at Randy Jones Insurance Services in Pleasanton, California. We are ready to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.