Stay prepared for the 2024 Wildfire Season

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With government officials and other experts warning that 2024 could pose significant wildfire risk, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraging BC residents to be prepared for some potentially difficult months ahead.

“As reported by the BC Wildfire Service, there are more than 90 active wildfires across the province, with many still burning from last year’s record-breaking season,” said Rob de Pruis, National Director, Consumer and Industry Relations, IBC. “The 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive in British Columbia’s history, and 2024 has the potential to be another intense wildfire year. Last year, fires started very early in the spring, spread extremely quickly and kept emergency responders busy throughout the summer. More than 2.84 million hectares burned, and thousands of people in affected areas had only a short time to evacuate. Sadly, six wildfire personnel lost their lives, and hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged.”

IBC’s Top 10 Wildfire Safety and Prevention Tips:

  1. Stay informed about the weather. Weather forecasts are vital to being prepared for a potential wildfire.
  2. Pay attention to fire danger ratings. Take note of and obey fire prohibitions and restrictions to know the likelihood of, and prevent wildfire igniting in your region. Check local government’s website for more information. Residents should also dispose of all smoking materials appropriately.
  3. Install and regularly maintain smoke alarms. Remove dust, replace batteries when the clocks change in spring and fall, test regularly and replace at least every 10 years.
  4. Prepare your home. Check that your home’s roof, its exterior walls and undersides of balconies are treated with flame-resistant materials.
  5. Properly store flammable materials. Store gasoline, solvents, waste or other materials that may ignite at least 10 metres away from your home.
  6. Remove dry leaves and debris. Keep leaves, other dry materials and potentially flammable garbage away from the exterior of the house, especially if you have wood or vinyl siding.
  7. Manage space around your home. Remove combustible material such as shrubs, trees and woodpiles within 10 metres of your home.
  8. Create an emergency preparedness plan and a disaster safety kit for your family. Develop a fire evacuation plan, practice executing that plan and stick to it in an emergency. And, prepare a basic kit of food, water and other necessities that will last at least 72 hours in an emergency.
  9. Prepare and update a home inventory. Make a list of what you own, including the value of each item, take photos or video and update the list regularly.
  10. Keep your insurance policy number and insurance company claims department phone number with you. In the event you are evacuated, you could qualify for additional living expense (ALE) coverage.
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By Published On: April 16, 2024Categories: Beacon, ResourcesTags:

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