Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (503) 465-6800/(800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo
protect your home or business now and be ready for next year's
SEATTLE - With wildfires continuing to devastate property
across the Northwest, you can take action now to protect your
home or business from danger - both this year and before next
year's wildfire season arrives.
"Wildfire danger will continue to be high for the foreseeable
future," said Karl Newman, president of the NW Insurance Council.
"The good news is that there are simple precautions you can
take that will protect you now and set you up for safety before
next year's wildfire season gets here."
So far this year, 2,743 fires have burned 2.9 million acres
in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, according to the National
Interagency Fire Center. Across the nation, 46,000 wildfires
have scorched more than 8 million acres in 2012.
NW Insurance Council offers the following wildfire preparation
tips to help you protect your family, home and business by
taking action now:
- Defensible Spacing - Clear brush 30 to 100 feet
from your home or business. Keep your grounds well groomed
and watered and remove old stumps and weak or diseased trees
from your property. Create a buffer zone by landscaping
with fire-resistant plants. Contact your local utility company
if you notice tree branches touching power lines.
- Review your insurance policy - Contact a representative
from your insurance company or your insurance agent to be
sure you have the right coverage to meet your needs. Make
sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance, especially
if you have outbuildings or you've recently made additions
to your home or commercial building.
- Fireproof your rooftop - The roof is the most vulnerable
part of your home or business when it comes to fires. Replace
wood-shake roofs with less flammable material when possible
and keep roofs and gutters clear of needles and leaves.
- Exterior precautions - Install screens on chimneys,
stovepipes and attic openings. Trim trees that overhang
the building to prevent fire in trees from easily spreading
to the roof. Keep flammable materials and fuel tanks at
least 30 feet away from the structure.
- Be accessible and visible - Make sure your address
is visible from the street. If firefighters can't find you,
they can't help you.
- Interior precautions - Consider installing a home
sprinkler system and make sure the sprinkler system in your
business is in good working order. Replace batteries in
smoke detectors in every room at least twice each year.
- Develop an emergency preparedness plan - Gather
and store a three-day supply of food and water, First Aid
supplies, flashlights and a portable radio.
- Maintain a complete home inventory - Keep copies
of contracts and receipts of your personal possessions in
a safe place outside of your home. Take pictures or video
of your belongings. Your home inventory can help you and
your adjuster settle your claim if your home is damaged
or destroyed by wildfire. Free, downloadable Home
Inventory Software is available on the Insurance Information
- Prepare your business - Prepare your business to
survive natural disasters, including wildfire, by following
the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety's
Open For Business property protection and recovery
To learn more about safeguarding your home and business from
wildfire, download a free Wildfire
Retrofit Guide from the Insurance Institute for Business
and Home Safety (IBHS). Also, to order a free copy of NW
Insurance Council's brochure, Firestorm - Northwest
Wildfires: Protect Yourself, call (800) 664-4942
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving
Washington, Oregon and Idaho.