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Are you ready for wildfire season? These tips will help you prepare. - Temecula Insurance Agency - Carver for Auto, Home, Life & Health

Are you ready for wildfire season? These tips will help you prepare.


Mercury Insurance offers property protection tips to homeowners; advice in the event of evacuation


Mercury offers these tips to homeowners to help them protect their property and prepare for an evacuation.

Tips for protecting your home from wildfires

  • Establish and maintain a safe zone around your house that will act as a fuelbreak. Install a greenbelt around your home and other structures of low-growing, fire-resistant plants such as succulents. Your local nursery can suggest a combination of attractive, water-wise plant materials that will help to reduce your home's vulnerability. If possible, your safe zone should be 100 feet wide.
  • Retrofit your home with non-flammable building materials. Roofs should be made of a non-combustible, "Class A" fire-resistant material. Exterior windows should be dual-paned tempered glass. Exterior walls should be finished with fire-resistant materials such as stucco, stone or brick. Although easy-to-maintain, vinyl siding can melt in a fire and is not recommended.
  • Clean roof surfaces, gutters and eaves of leaves, pine needles and branches regularly to avoid accumulation of flammable materials.
  • Install spark arresters in chimneys and apply one-quarter inch, non-combustible screening to all vent or eave openings.
  • Keep trees and shrubs pruned, and remove dead or dying trees plant materials. Stagger planting of trees to create a barrier to intercept and prevent wind-driven burning material from reaching your home. Prune branches that are near- or overhang- the roof. Remove lower tree branches below six feet from the ground, and maintain a vegetation-free zone beneath the tree's drip line.
  • Store flammable liquids properly and away from occupied buildings. Propane tanks should be located 50 feet from structures, and valves should be turned off if there is a danger of fire. The tank area should be clear of flammable vegetation and combustible materials.
  • All combustibles such as firewood, picnic tables, boats, etc., should be located 50 feet from your home and other structures.
  • Do not connect wood fencing directly to your home.
  • Maintain your irrigation system.
  • Make sure your street address is visible from the street.

What to do during a wildfire

Wildfires can occur unexpectedly and homeowners should be ready to take action.

  • Tune in to news broadcasts for reports and evacuation information.
  • Park your car in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Gather pets and confine them to one room.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Leave immediately if advised to evacuate.

Emergency Preparedness Kits - What to take to an evacuation center

The American Red Cross offers these suggestions from former evacuees about items to include in an emergency preparedness kit.

  • Comfortable clothing, such as sweats, and sturdy shoes
  • Medications for the family and pets
  • Personal items, such as family pictures, favorite books, iPod and cell phone with chargers, and your bed pillow
  • Snack food
  • Cash in small bills and coins
  • Insurance paperwork and contact information
  • Cell phone chargers

For more ideas from the Red Cross about emergency preparedness, go to http://www.redcross.org/domore

Leaving your home during an evacuation

Homeowners with property located in rural areas or communities adjacent to open space have a greater risk of damage during a wildfire. If fire officials declare an evacuation—and time permits—homeowners should take these safety precautions prior to departing.

  • Turn off gas and pilot lights.
  • Turn on a light in every room.
  • Move combustible patio furniture inside, and relocate flammable furniture away from windows and sliding glass doors.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside faucets.
  • Hose down rooftops and the outside of your home.
  • Lock your home.
  • Follow the designated evacuation route.

Filing a claim

Claims can be reported to Mercury's Claims Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (800) 503-3724. Learn more by reading ourfire insurance claims guide.

For more information about protecting your family, pets and property from violent and deadly firestorms, visit these websites:

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection -http://www.fire.ca.gov/

Firewise Communities Resources for Life Safety -http://www.firewise.org/resources/resources_for_life.htm

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