NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Officials with State Farm urge property owners to use extreme care regarding any outdoor activities during this period of extreme drought in the state.
Spokesman, Gary Stephenson, in North Little Rock said, "We are in a time where everyone is becoming extremely concerned about fire safety and their own property's safety.While we cannot control what might accidentally happen, there are some steps that we can take around our homes, to be in the safest position possible in terms of protecting against wildfire damage."
Stephenson said, "Time is of the essence when a wildfire threatens your home. The more you can do before a wildfire, to create a defensible space, will slow a fire's progress and provide fire fighters valuable time to protect or save your property if a fire should threaten your home or property."
State Farm offers the following tips that might help reduce your risk:
- Establish a 'reduced risk perimeter'.
- Keep yard debris and trees at least 30 feet from your home.
- Keep your roof and gutters clear of debris.
- Move combustible items away from your home. (Don't store lawnmower gas in your garage, etc)
- Keep any stacked woodpile at least 30 feet from your home or other buildings, and keep vegetation cleared.
If your home is threatened, and if time allows:
- Turn off all gas valves.
- Move furniture away from windows and take down any flammable window treatments.
- If an evacuation order is issued. Obey it. Saving your life and your family's lives comes first.
Insurance Tips if your home is threatened by wildfire:
- If a mandatory evacuation is issued: save receipts for lodging and meals. This may be reimbursable under your homeowners policy (after your deductible).
- When it is safe to return to your home, inspect your property for damage.
- Contact your agent right away so they can advise you on the appropriate action to take regarding your claim.
- You may be eligible for coverage for temporary repairs to protect your property from further damage.
- Take photos save your receipts.
- Finally - as a matter of preparedness in case of any disaster-fire, storm, earthquake or otherwise.
- Know about your coverage. Talk to your agent. Don't make assumptions-know what coverage you have (flood? EQ?)
- Insure to value. Don't under-insure your property. If the worst happens, proper levels of insurance can save you thousands in rebuilding costs. Update.
- Periodically review your coverage with your agent. Have you remodeled? Added possessions? Update coverage as needed.
- Home inventory. You should have one. Video/photo each room, list values of major items, store in safe location off premises.