With wildfire season starting earlier and extending later into winter, the potential for your home to be affected is growing. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, over the past 5 years in the United States, more than 306,000 wildfires have burned over 39 million acres. And according to the Canadian Wildland Information System, over the last 10 years there have been over 5,500 wildfires in Canada that burn on average over 2,800,000 hectares of forest per year—the equivalent to over 7 million football fields or almost the entire Vancouver Island.
Considering this destructive force of nature, it remains critical that homeowners consistently evaluate their properties’ exposure and be as prepared as possible.
Wildfires’ infamous culprit is embers. While they may seem harmless, 90% of homes and buildings damaged during a wildfire are from embers. All it takes is one to find its way into or around your home and ignite, which can result in severe damage or loss of your home.
Moreover, embers can blow upwards of one mile ahead of the wildfire front. Make no mistake about it: if your home is in or near a wildfire-prone area, even in a subdivision adjacent to a wildland setting, you may still be at risk to embers from wildfires.
The following are action steps that homeowners can take to reduce their risk and protect their home from wildfires:
Last, when facing an imminent wildfire threat, monitor the local news and follow evacuation orders.
Andrew MacIntosh is a senior risk consultant for Chubb Personal Risk Services in Canada.
James Milek is a risk consultant for Chubb Personal Risk Services in the United States.
The opinions and positions expressed are the authors’ own and not those of Chubb. The information and/ or data provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.