It is that time of year when we like to remind you of the importance of wildfire prevention. Preventing a wildfire requires a collective effort and best practices need to be utilized to lower our risk.
Did you know the majority of wildfires are caused by humans? According to Wildland Fire Management Information, humans cause 85% of wildland fires. That is an alarming number. If we could educate everyone in the United States on how to prevent fires, we could see a major improvement.
Most common scenarios where human fires start:
- Campfires left unattended
- Burning debris
- Equipment use or malfunction
- Not properly discarding cigarettes
Other scenarios where wildfires start:
- Natural causes such as lightning
How You Can Lower the Chance of Starting a Wildfire
1.) Pay Attention to Your State’s Burn Bans.
If the weather is hot and dry, burn bans may automatically be put in place. Always respect these rules and never burn during these times. This includes campfires and burning debris in your backyard. They are in place for a reason.
2.) If It Is Safe to Burn, Be Sure You Know the Correct Protocols for Burning
If you plan to go camping this summer or burn debris in your backyard, it is important to review the correct protocols to avoid starting a fire. Even using your family car, lawn equipment or farm equipment can increase your risk. Review fire safety here.
Fires should never be started near flammable materials. This includes grass, leaves, logs and brush. Learn how to build a proper campfire here.
Did you know wind can play a role in starting a fire? Even if there is not a burn ban in place, you should never burn debris or start a campfire if it is windy.
By leaving a fire unattended or simply not putting out the fire correctly, you can be liable for starting a fire. A simple reminder, “If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.” Whether you are camping in the backcountry or at a campground, a shovel and a bucket can be a few key items you can use that will ensure your fire is out when it is time to leave.
3.) Don’t drive your vehicle or use equipment over dry grass.
A simple spark from your vehicle’s exhaust can cause a fire. By performing regular maintenance on your car or equipment, this lowers your risk of shooting off sparks.
If weather conditions are fine and you plan to explore off-road, it never hurts to have a few safety items on hand in the event a fire starts. Items include a shovel, bucket or fire extinguisher.
We hope you have a great summer! If you have questions about your insurance policy, contact our agency. We are here to help address your concerns or answer questions.