Carson City, NV - June 09, 2016
Nevada endured a harsher than
recent mild winters, which brought much-needed moisture to the region. While
this moisture is responsible for picturesque sceneries, it can also lead to
greener plants, and denser grass -- in other words: fire fuel.
The National Weather Service
recently issued a Red Flag Warning lasting 2 days, which means there is an
increased threat for wildfires. The good news is that you as a homeowner
can begin now, before a wildfire starts, to protect your home by decreasing the
possibility of your home being engulfed in flames.
“Mitigation is key to reducing
loss of property due to wildfires, but it is only effective if it is done
before disaster strikes,” explained Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson.
According to the Living with Fire
Program, creating a defensible space around your home can reduce the threat of
wildfires affecting your home. In the event of a wildfire, defensible space can
also help the firefighters defend your property safely and more effectively.
Begin by knowing how much
distance from the base of the house extending outward your property needs as it
depends on the vegetation surrounding the home and the steepness of the slope.
Living with Fire has a “Defensible Space Calculator” on their website at http://www.livingwithfire.info/before-the-fire
that can recommend how much defensible space your property needs.
Once you identify how much
defensible space is recommended for your property, the next step is to consider
removing dead and dying trees, dead native and ornamental shrubs, dead
branches, leaves, needles and twigs that are still attached to plants, and
removing grass, weeds and flowers within the recommended defensible space zone.
Creating a separation between
native trees and shrubs such as Jeffery Pine, Pinyon, Juniper and Sagebrush
also helps reduce the fire danger. Additionally, removing the lower tree
branches to at least 10 feet can reduce the risk of a fire using the down low
branches to spread to the taller plants. This is known as “ladder fuel.”
Even though reducing the fuel
will reduce the risk of fire to your home, it is also important to protect your
home with adequate insurance.
The Nevada Division of Insurance
recommends that you conduct a checkup that includes completing a home inventory
and reviewing the provisions of your homeowner’s policy with your insurance
agent or insurance company. This inventory and review will ensure appropriate
and adequate coverage is in place to repair or replace your home and belongings
in the event that it is destroyed by a fire.
The Division has resources
available on its website to help homeowners and renters. Please visit the
Division’s website at http://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Homeowners-Insurance/Home-Inventory/
for tips on how to create a home inventory. You can also view the Nevada
Consumer’s Guide to Home Insurance at http://doi.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/doinvgov/_public-documents/News-Notes/HomeInsuranceGuide2011B.pdf.
Don’t forget to also check out
the NAIC’s free myHOME Scr.APP.book downloadable app that allows you to quickly
photograph and capture descriptions of your possessions room by room, then
store electronically for safekeeping. The app is available for iPhone® and
About the Nevada Division of Insurance
The State of Nevada Division of Insurance, a Division of the
Nevada Department of Business and Industry, protects the rights of Nevada
consumers and regulates Nevada’s $11.9 billion insurance industry. The Division
of Insurance has offices in Carson City and Las Vegas. In 2015, the Division
investigated more than 3,200 consumer complaints and recovered nearly $5
million on behalf of consumers. For more information about the Division of
Insurance, visit DOI.NV.GOV or download the Division’s smartphone app NDOI
Connect today in the Apple App Store and Google Play.