Six ways to reduce your home’s fire risk

August 13th, 2014 by admin

Fires are one of the leading causes of damage to homes and are the second most common homeowner insurance claim in Canada after water. In May 2013, multiple wildfires devastated New Brunswick homeowners, reports CBC News. No injuries or fatalities resulted, but several homes were destroyed. Petitcodiac and the area west of Moncton were hit especially hard by the blazes.

National Geographic offers the following advice to homeowners to reduce the risk of fire. The advice is especially important to residents who live in "wildland-urban interfaces," areas where "human habitation meets forests or grasslands," according to National Geographic. Many wildfires begin in these places, and when conditions enable, quickly spread to neighboring homes.

Here is how you can lower the risk of fire to your home:

1. Make Improvements to Your Roof.  
Good retrofitting options include fire-resistant ceramic tiles, slate or composition shingles, as well as metal sheets. All of these materials offer stronger protection than wood in preventing fires and slowing their spread.

2. Seal Off Openings. 
Install metal screens over vents and other openings, in turn, blocking embers.

3. Prune Branches.
Reduce the chance that flames spread from a branch to your house by pruning nearby trees. 

4. Mow the Lawn.
Short grass and a well-watered lawn can slow the spread of flames.

5. Pick Up Debris.
Be sure to remove leaf litter, pine needles from gutters and dead limbs in the vicinity of your house.

6. Lighten Trees and other landscaping. 
Reducing and spacing out landscaping will both make it more difficult for flames to travel and easier for firefighters to fight the blaze. 

For answers to all of your home insurance needs, including advice on reducing fire risk, contact the experts at Fundy Mutual. One of our experienced home insurance brokers will be happy to help you.