EDMONTON, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ - With the first day of summer arriving tomorrow, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) urges vulnerable Albertans to take precautions to prepare their homes this wildfire season.
"Wildfires are a real threat and present danger to many communities every summer. The best protection against loss, damage or injury due to wildfire is prevention. Albertans should prepare now with these simple safety tips to protect your family and property," says Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC.
Severe weather is on the rise across Canada. Events that used to happen every 40 years can now be expected to happen every six. By 2050, average annual temperatures are expected to increase by 2-4°C across Alberta. In central regions, the area burned by wildfires could increase by15% by 2050 according to IBC's Telling the Weather Story research report. Average temperature changes that result in earlier onset of spring- and summer-like conditions will also lengthen the wildfire season and increase wildfire risk. This makes it even more critical to know how you can protect your family and your home in the event of an emergency.
According to The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development of Alberta, on average, there are over 1500 wildfires with an estimated 244 000 hectares of land burned every year in Alberta. Wildfires move fast, can change direction unexpectedly and are often difficult to contain. The unpredictable nature of such events is what poses the most significant threat to homeowners and the community at large.
Are you prepared? Consider these tips:
- Stay weather informed. Weather forecasts are vital in predicting fire behaviour. Sign-up for Alberta Emergency Alerts - www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca
- Pay attention to fire danger ratings Pay attention to fire prohibitions and restrictions to know the likelihood of a wildfire igniting in your region.
- Prepare a detailed home inventory.
- Check your smoke detectors.
- Assemble a disaster safety kit.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family.
- Prepare your home.
- Manage the space around your home. Remove combustible materials such as shrubs, trees and woodpiles within ten metres of your home.
For more tips on how to FireSmart your home click here: http://youtu.be/af4hPwpruvo
Are you covered?
- Talk to your insurance representative to ensure that you have appropriate home or tenant insurance coverage.
- Virtually every home or tenant insurance policy covers damage caused by fire, even if the fire begins on a neighbouring property.
- In certain circumstances, homeowners who are unable to return home as a result of insured damage are entitled to additional living expenses.
- Damage to vehicles from fire or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils automobile insurance coverage has been purchased. This coverage is not mandatory, so check your policy.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA
For further information:
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Insurance Bureau of Canada
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