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Fire Survivors, Experts Demonstrate How Neighborhood Protected Itself In the Face of Historic Station Fire
Published  08/25/2010 | 2010

Actions of Fire Safe Neighbors: A Model to Californians as Temperatures and Fire Risks Soar

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          Wildfire Prevention
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Baffled vents, gutter guards and lollipop trees may not be at the top of your home improvement list, but they should be if you live in a fire zone.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the largest fire in Los Angeles County history, the Insurance Information Network of California , the California Department of Insurance and the Los Angeles County Fire Department  joined forces to showcase physical and financial preparation for homeowners in high risk fire areas.

At a demonstration in Altadena, fire experts outlined low-cost fire protection measures and fire-safe landscaping for homes.  Insurance experts also detailed how to create an effective home inventory that will not only help determine how much insurance to buy, but also provide a roadmap to fire recovery.

Residents of fire zones should be on alert and ready with proper brush clearance, evacuation plans, and home inventories when the temperatures climb into the triple digits as they have this week, participants said.

“No one likes to think that they will become the victim of a disaster, but preparing your home and finances helps safeguard against the personal catastrophe a wildfire can leave in its wake,” said IINC Executive Director Candysse Miller. 

LACFD Deputy Chief David Richardson demonstrated simple improvements designed to block hot embers from entering a home.  These include baffled vents and non-flammable foam filler for gutters.  He also outlined the department’s “Ready! Set! Go!” personal wildfire action plan, which includes fire-safe landscaping to create defensible space.

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner stressed the importance of having enough insurance coverage to rebuild a home and replace personal belongings.  Many homeowners don’t know details of the insurance policies until it is too late, he said.

The largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history, the Station Fire was unlike most Southern California conflagrations in that it was driven by vegetation build-up, rather than wind. The fire drove thousands of foothill residents from their homes and resulted in insured losses that have been estimated as high as $106 million.

Experts advise that now is the best time to prepare both your home and property against fire dangers and your finances by creating or updating a home inventory.  When fire rages through communities, there is very little time to do anything but leave as quickly as possible.

IINC is a non-profit and non-lobbying trade association dedicated to helping the public understand insurance and manage risk.  For more information, please visit www.iinc.org.  IINC is also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/iinc and Facebook at http://companies.to/iinc.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
California Department of Insurance
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Meadows Fire Safe Council