Even before the devastating wildfires in recent years, homeowners in many Western states have generally understood the concept of defensible space and brush clearance to keep their homes away from dangerous, unmanaged wild vegetation. However, it may surprise many homeowners that their landscape vegetation could also pose similar, or sometimes even greater, dangers.
While it may seem counterintuitive to think that visually appealing landscape vegetation could be potential fire hazards, there are two basic facts that make this seem perfectly probable. First, all landscape vegetation can ignite under the right conditions – even the most lush and green plants can become fuel for wildfires. Second, landscape vegetation by design tends to be located near and around the house, therefore, once landscape vegetation ignites, their close proximity greatly increases the fire risk to the house.
To enjoy the many benefits that beautiful landscape vegetation can provide homeowners, and simultaneously, reduce potential wildfire hazards, consider these three important P’s for landscape vegetation:
With spring planting season approaching and the inevitable wildfire season to follow, homeowners should begin to assess the condition of their landscape vegetation as part of their overall wildfire preparedness strategy.
For additional information on this topic, there are many resources homeowners can access including their insurance company, fire department, as well as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Joe Kim is an Assistant Vice President and Premier Account Specialist at Chubb Personal Risk Services.
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.