SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With wildfires making headlines from California to Washington, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) urges residents to be extra cautious with the use of fireworks this Fourth of July.
The National Interagency Wildfire Center predicts an above average chance of wildfires through the end of July for the western portions of Washington, Oregon and California, eastern sections of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as most of Alaska and Hawaii.
“The July Fourth holiday brings outdoor fun along with increased fire danger,” said Chris Hackett, senior director of personal lines policy for APCIA. “Embers can travel miles away and fireworks — even sparklers – can ignite fires. With over 90 percent of wildfires being caused by humans, it’s crucial that everyone follow state laws and take extra precautions to avoid starting preventable fires.
APCIA also reminds homeowners and renters to get their finances and property wildfire ready. “Taking simple steps like preparing a home inventory, updating your insurance coverage and clearing debris around the home makes a difference if a wildfire breaks out,” said Hackett. “Insurers prepare year-round to tackle fire risks and are prepared to assist homeowners and renters. If your home is damaged by a wildfire, the first step to recovery is contacting your agent or insurance company. One phone call starts the road to rebuilding.”
Tip 1: Call your agent or insurance company to discuss your policy limits and coverage options as part of your annual insurance check-up.
Tip 2: Update your policy to cover home improvements and other changes.
Tip 3: If your home is paid off, be sure to maintain homeowners insurance.
Tip 4: Get renters insurance to protect your belongings.
Tip 5: Make a home inventory to document all of your belongings.
Tip 1: Keep a five-foot noncombustible zone around your home and deck.
Tip 2: Make sure your gutters, roof and deck are clear of debris and leaves.
Tip 3: Maintain six inches of noncombustible materials between the ground and the start of the siding on your house.
Tip 4: Ensure the vents around your house are 1/8th inch metal mesh and install a self-closing dryer vent.
Tip 5: Enclose any open eaves whenever you have an opportunity in construction.