FIRE SEASON in California
First, create a defensible space around your property. This defensible space reduces the risk that fire will spread from the surroundings to the structure. Firefighters sometimes do not attempt protecting structures without adequate defensible space, for safety of their teams and their effort is less likely to succeed. 30 feet clearance around the home is required by law. An additional 70 feet is considered a Reduced Fuel Zone and may apply depending on the steepness of your property and the surrounding vegetation.
To create a defensible space,
1. Remove all buildup of needles and leaves from roof and gutters.
2. Keep tree limbs cut back 10 feet from chimneys and remove dry limbs overhanging the home and garage.
3. A screen over your chimney outlet of not more than ½ inch mesh is required by law.
Consult the Cal Fire web site for more details www.fire.ca.gov
Second, in case of a fire it’s helpful to have a household inventory. Use a digital camera to photograph rooms and contents then take a few minutes to catalogue your possessions and note their values. If you choose to use a video camera, comment as you go with as many details describing the item(s). Store your inventory in different places.
A free Home Inventory Guide is available at www.insurance.ca.gov
Now is a good time to review your California homeowners’ insurance policy with your agent to assure that you have sufficient coverage for your home and personal contents. Your insurance professional is ready to assist with any questions that arise.
Mercury Insurance Agency Newsletter, Volume 2, May 3, 2011