LINCOLN, RI – Deadly and destructive wildfires continue to rage in Texas and California, killing at least four people, destroying more than 1,000 homes and forcing thousands more to evacuate. Amica Insurance reminds everyone that it’s important to take immediate action to protect their homes and property – especially if they’re in an area threatened by wildfires.
"Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these devastating fires in Texas and California,” said Sean Welch, a senior assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “This year has been one of the worst for wildfires in recent memory, and the wildfire season isn’t over yet.”
That’s why it’s critical for homeowners to do what they can to protect their families and their homes, Welch said. Here are some tips from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and other local and federal safety agencies:
• 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.
"Most people believe it is the advancing line of flames during a wildfire that destroys homes,” according to 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."
Wildfires are dangerous and unpredictable, Welch said. That’s why it’s important to act now, to protect your home as much as possible before a wildfire approaches.
"It’s also important to have an evacuation plan in case you need to leave,” he said. “Heed the warnings of firefighters and other public safety officials in your community. If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately. Your family’s safety is the top priority.”
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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