Arizona is a beautiful state that enjoys a unique set of seasons, cool winters, no fall, and sweltering hot summers. This summer alone we’ve seen 19 wildfires spark up so far and the season is still heating up. To keep you and your family safe and out of harms way we’ve provided a few tips to consider when fire danger is this high.
A surprising fact: wildfires can happen in almost every state
While wildfires strike more frequently in the West, nearly every state has been devastated by fires in the last century. Each year hundreds of homes are destroyed as more people choose to live closer to nature.
Know what your insurance covers and how much you need
- It’s beneficial to know if your insurance policy covers repair or rebuilding costs. If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss you can rest assured knowing your home insurance carrier will pay for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt—typically for up to 12 months. It’s important that you review your policy for detailed coverage explanations and exclusions.
- Business owners should also consider business income insurance, which is designed to cover the costs of replacing lost profits, payroll and operating expenses if you are shut down while repairs are being made.
- It is important that you review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild based on current construction costs. We recommend you work with an independent appraiser to get a precise estimate and make sure you inform us about any special or unique features of your house.
You can reduce the chance of losing to wildfire
No building is fireproof, but there are steps you can take to better the chances when wildfire strikes.
- Define your defensible space—a 30-foot, non-combustible zone around your home.
- Choose fire-resistant plants and trees.
- Remove or prune low hanging tree branches.
- Cut grass and weeds regularly and keep your roof and yard clean, especially from dry yard debris.
- Stack wood piles or other burnable materials at least 30 feet from your home or other buildings on your property.
- Keep signs and addresses visible so firefighters can easily locate your property.
- Rate your roof—is it fire resistant?
- Recycle yard debris and branches instead of burning.
When a wildfire strikes, protect yourself and your family
If a wildfire starts in your area, monitor local news reports for evacuation procedures. Prepare for evacuation by turning off gas valves and pilot lights, closing all windows and doors and packing your car for quick departure, if there is time and it is safe to do so. Return to a burned area only when local authorities have instructed you to do so.
Stay safe this summer and always be on the look out for possible dangers around the house.
Here’s a look at the wildfires that have flared up and burned acreage in Arizona this wildfire season, according to the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention.
- Odonnell Fire – April 21, 2014
- Brown Fire – April 23, 2014
- Fisher Fire – May 7, 2014
- Redington Fire – May 8, 2014
- Squaretop Fire – May 13, 2014
- Iron Fire – May 13, 2014
- Basin Fire – May 15, 2014
- Research Fire – May 23, 2014
- Badger Fire – May 23, 2014
- Barlow Fire – May 25, 2014
- Skunk Fire – June 10, 2014
- Black River Tank Fire – June 14, 2014
- Galahad Fire – June 20, 2014
- Jack Fire – June 25, 2014
- Slide Fire – June 25, 2014
- Dehose Fire – June 25, 2014
- Oak Fire – June 26, 2014
- San Juan Fire – June 26, 2014
- Assayii Lake Fire – June 26, 2014