Of all the possible destructive events that can happen to one’s home, a fire can be one of the most devastating and frightening for homeowners. Fires, especially brush fires, are also one of the largest sources of loss for homeowners insurance companies.
It’s in everyone’s best interests for insurance clients to know the best strategies for reducing brush fire risk. Taking preventative action helps to ensure the safety of occupants and precious possessions, and keeps insurance company losses down. Take a look at some effective strategies that insurance clients can use to prevent brush fires.
There are many things a homeowner can do with their landscaping to keep a brush fire from getting too close to the home in the first place.
Take a look at your flower beds and shrubbery; it’s usually best to keep vegetation from growing too close to the home. Homeowners can create a green zone around their home: an area that, aside from grass, contains minimal vegetation. A green zone should ideally span about 30 feet from the home. It should be kept clear of leaves, underbrush, and fallen limbs, as well as combustible materials like firewood.
A homeowner can also replace flammable plants like juniper and pine with more fire-resistant plants, such as southern magnolia, Japanese elm, and flowering horse chestnut.
Remodeling, Upgrading, and Maintenance Strategies
Homeowners can also keep fire safety in mind when doing remodeling or making upgrades to their homes. For example, enclosing empty spaces under porches and decks, or installing fire-resistant shutters and drapes along with double or triple-pane windows can reduce fire risk and help keep losses to a minimum.
It also helps to choose fire-resistant materials when repairing or upgrading home features. For instance, a roof made of clay, metal, slate, or fiberglass shingles is going to be more fire-resistant than a roof made of other types of materials. And Brick, cement, and stucco are some of the more fire-resistant materials for home siding.
But homeowners don’t have to wait until they can afford an upgrade to take steps to keep their homes safe from brush fires. Routine maintenance like treating wood siding with a fire-retardant coating or keeping gutters clear and free of leaves and debris are important steps toward reducing the risk of a home catching fire.
Just staying informed about the risk of brush fires can help homeowners stay on top of their fire-prevention strategies and take protective steps when needed.
It’s important for homeowners to be aware of the brush fire risk in their area in general, and to pay attention to updates and warnings from local officials. Insurance clients should be aware of the methods that authorities will use to urge and/or begin preparation and direct evacuation, and they should take these warnings seriously.
Brush fires can flare up and spread quickly, so there’s no guarantee that residents in the path of a fire will be able to receive timely warnings to prepare and evacuate. That’s why taking preventative measures before a brush fire starts is so important.
At the American Agents Alliance, our Preferred Market Access program includes Heritage Insurance, a preferred E&S market that accepts high brush risks. As a CA member, access our FREE Preferred Market Access Program and start writing through this quality preferred appointment and more. Contact us today.