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Protect your home from wildfire season

Last summer was the worst wildfire season in BC history. As we enter the warm season, BCAA Insurance Experts have tips on how to prepare.

1. Check for flammable materials.

  • Clear away trees, overhanging branches, brush and woodpiles that could add fuel to a fire.
  • Keep grass cut and well-watered as regulations allow.
  • Don’t store combustible items such as propane and natural gas tanks under decks or porches.
  • Keep eaves troughs clear of dry material.

2. Be visible in an emergency.

  • Make sure emergency crews can see your address clearly from the road.
  • Be an advocate in your community for visible, fireproof street signs.

3. Develop a fire safety and emergency evacuation plan.

  • Know the location of important documents and keepsakes. Store originals in a fire-proof container and keep extra copies on hand.
  • Pack a “go bag” for each family member that you can grab in a moment’s notice, including essentials for your pets.
  • Practice a home fire drill and escape plan with your family.

4. Take stock.

  • Keep an itemized list or video record of your belongings. Take photos or videos of possessions such as jewelry, electronics and furniture.
  • Document significant renovations and improvements made to your home.
  • Don’t forget to document landscaping items such as trees, shrubs and plants.

5. Make sure you have adequate insurance.

  • Ensure your home and belongings are adequately insured, and that your policy is up-to-date.
  • Keep recreational and other occasional-use vehicles (e.g. boats, RVs, collectible cars) insured at all times so they can be moved quickly in the event of a wildfire evacuation.
  • During natural disasters, such as wildfires, insurance companies may place temporary restrictions on accepting new business, making the instant purchase or upgrading of insurance exceptionally difficult.

Wildfires are unpredictable and could result in evacuation orders on little notice. Preparation can go a long way to help you and your family stay safe.

If you have any questions about your home insurance policy, BCAA is here to help. Visit a BCAA Service Location or call 1.888.268.2222.