As our summers continue getting hotter and drier with devastating results, the danger that wildfires pose to our local communities is expected to increase in the coming years. If you live in a wildfire-prone area, there are some important precautions that you can take to help protect your home and keep your loved ones safe. Here are a few important reminders:
Protecting Your Family
- Follow current wildfire activity and any evacuation alerts and orders
- Make an emergency plan and ensure everyone in your household knows and understands what to do if you need to quickly evacuate. Learn your evacuation routes and practice with your entire household and pets.
- Keep copies of important personal documents, including your insurance policies, and ensure they are up to date.
- Build grab-and-go bags for your entire household including medications, disinfectants, masks, pet supplies, etc. If you already have an N95 mask, use this to protect yourself from smoke inhalation.
- Do not return home until authorities say it safe to do so if you have been ordered to evacuate.
- Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for assistance.
Protecting Your Home
- Regularly mow your grass and keep roof and gutters clean.
- Inspect chimneys at least twice a year and clean them at least once a year. Keep dampers in good working order.
- Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs, and clear out all flammable vegetation.
- Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc.
- Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.
- Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. If there are smoky conditions, close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low.
- Ensure that patio furniture is either made of non-combustible material such as metal or is at least 30 feet away from the building.
- Take photos of your home and contents to have on file in case of a loss.
Visit bcwildfire.ca for additional information and resources on wildfire preparedness as well as the latest updates on wildfire activity in BC.
Contact your CapriCMW Risk Advisor for any questions on your insurance.