How to Prepare Your Home for a Wildfire
We’ve been enjoying mild California-like temperatures so far this spring in Houston, but we know the heat is on its way. And with less than 50% of normal rainfall in Texas, the Water Development Board just reported that drought conditions in our state are getting worse, now affecting two thirds of Texas. 25% of those areas are under ‘extreme’ or ‘worse’ drought conditions. This is up over 20% from just four months ago, with the worst conditions in the northern and northeastern areas of the state.
With drought conditions comes concern about wildfires. We’ve seen large wildfires spread in all different parts of the country, and not just during the summer months. Christie Alderman, new products and services manager for Chubb Personal Insurance says, “At one time, wildfires were more likely to start in the late summer and early fall – and you could warn homeowners about the approaching ‘wildfire season.’ Now we see wildfires threatening homes throughout the year, and it means homeowners must be more vigilant.”
Some precautions she recommends:
- Replacing cedar roof shingles with ceramic tiles or other non-flammable materials
- Replacing flammable shrubs and bushes with fire-resistant plants
- Covering the chimney and open vents with wire mesh to prevent embers from entering the house
- Moving propane tanks away from the home
- Removing debris from gutters and beneath decks
- Replacing landscaping mulch with stones or other fire-resistive materials
Chubb Insurance also offers a wildfire defense service at no charge to policyholders in 14 states, including Texas. They provide wildfire education and property risk assessments, and response to wildfires through a network of certified wildfire fighters who set up protective perimeter sprinkler systems, and spray their amazing fire-blocking gel on your home. They’ll even move your lawn furniture for you! If you already have a Chubb homeowners policy and you’re in an area at risk for wildfires, you need to register for the service at www.chubbwildfiredefense.com or call Nicole or Kim at our office at 713-869-8346.