LINCOLN, RI – Recent wildfires in Texas have contributed to what’s being described as one of the worst years for wildfires in recent memory. Millions of acres already have been damaged and many homes are at risk. So Amica Insurance is offering tips to help protect your family and property.
"Wildfires are dangerous and can quickly spread, so it’s important to learn about the risks in your area and to plan ahead,” said Sean Welch, a senior assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “Take steps now to protect your home as much as possible, and make sure you have an evacuation plan in case you need to leave.”
Drought-plagued areas in the southern and central Plains, as well as Texas, have been among the hardest hit so far this year. But wildfires can occur anywhere, anytime, Welch said.
"Most people believe that it is the advancing line of flames during a wildfire that destroys homes,” said Julie Rochman, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. “Rather, it is embers or firebrands that create spot fires by catching on vegetation, debris and flammable materials that lead to ignition of the exterior of a house. Or, embers blown or drawn into buildings through vents and other openings ignite and burn a house from the inside."
Amica offers these tips to help protect your home:
• Maintain shrubs and other landscaping at a safe distance from your home and avoid the use of wood, bark and rubber mulch that can easily catch fire.
• Keep trellises, arbors, playground equipment, boats, RVs, firewood, propane tanks and other combustibles at least 30 feet from your house.
• Clean debris from your roof and gutters and if possible, install a Class A fire-rated roof covering.
• Use flame-resistant materials on decks, patios and porches and enclose or screen the area to keep it free from debris.
• Cover attic and crawlspace vents with 1/8- inch metal screens to help keep out burning embers.
Many wildfires are caused by careless mistakes, so be cautious when lighting a campfire around your home or elsewhere, Welch noted. If you are burning debris, choose a safe site far from anything that can catch fire. And always have a way to extinguish the fire quickly.
Wildfires can occur virtually anywhere, at anytime, Welch said. That’s why it is important to take steps now to protect your family and your home as best you can.
Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,200 people in 40 offices across the country.
CONTACT: Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,
Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563
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