Wildfires-they’re a hot topic right now. There are now 14 wildfires spread across Arizona, sparking Governor Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency. All puns aside, for those of us living within close proximity to these fires, the eminent threat can be terrifying.
Forest fires are notoriously unpredictable, difficult to control, and often take weeks or even months to fully contain. Helplessly waiting to see how Mother Nature unfolds your fate can be a real nail biter. That’s why we’ve written this simple list of preventative steps you can personally take to protect your property.
Create a Defensible Space: A zone around your house that will slow or redirect the wildfire around your home. Fires will only burn if fuel is present. Fuel can be your landscaping, woodpiles, decks, etc. Create a defensible space anywhere from 30 to 100 around your home depending on how heavily wooded your area is or if you live on a slope.
- Space trees at least 10 feet apart (cut down and remove any that are closer together)
- Remove dead or dying trees and shrubs, pine needles, leaves, and other dead vegetation
- Keep trees and shrubs pruned. (Tree branches should be a minimum of 6 feet from the ground)
- Mow your lawn regularly and dispose of clippings
- Maintain your irrigation system and keep ground well saturated if possible
- Clean your roof, gutters and eaves of debris, pine needles, leaves, etc.
- Trim branches so they don’t extend over your roof or near the chimney
- Move firewood and storage tanks 50 feet away from home and clear areas at least 10 feet around them
- Do not connect wooden fencing directly to your home
- Hose off your roof and surrounding areas to keep any embers from igniting fuel
For much greater details on protecting your property, read this PDF: Homeowner’s Firewise Guide For Arizona.
Always maintain a homeowner’s insurance policy
Be sure to start and carry a homeowner’s or renter’s policy well before a wildfire ever starts in your area. This coverage will replace your belongings and rebuild your home if necessary. Make sure your limits are high enough to cover everything, especially if you’ve recently upgraded or renovated your property and haven’t adjusted your policy to match your homes increased value.
You CANNOT add a homeowners, renters or landlord policy while a wildfire is burning in your area.
Procrastination is often human nature, but don’t wait until the last minute to try and add a property policy or increase your limits when a fire ignites in your area. It is highly unlikely that any insurance company will allow you to start a policy or add coverage while a wildfire is burning in your area. CYA, cover your assets today.
Contact us now to start or update a policy; we’re ready to answer all of your burning questions. (still with the puns)
AZ Insurance Team