Safeguard your home from devastating Kelowna wildfires

Essential Tips to Prepare for Another Season of Kelowna Wildfires

Safeguard your home from devastating Kelowna wildfires. Learn essential tips to be prepared and stay protected.

Wildfire season looms once again in BC and in our region. With evidence of small Kelowna wildfires already reported at this point in the season, residents of Kelowna need to understand the importance of being prepared.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is urging homeowners to get their homes ready for wildfire season is a timely reminder of the potential risks we face. With the devastation of the Traders Cove during the McDougall Creek wildfire of August 2023, preparedness is critical.

Rob de Pruis, national director of Consumer and Industry Relations at IBC, states, “As reported by the BC Wildfire Service, there are more than 90 active wildfires across the province, with many still burning from last year’s record-breaking season. The 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive in British Columbia’s history, and 2024 has the potential to be another intense wildfire year.”

Here’s how you can help ensure your home is wildfire-ready:

Year-round preparedness

  • Install and Maintain Alarms: Smoke and CO alarms are your first line of defence. Ensure they are installed, dust-free, and equipped with fresh batteries. Regular testing and replacement every 10 years are crucial for optimal performance.
  • Emergency Plan and Kit: Develop a comprehensive evacuation plan for your family and pets, and practise it regularly. Additionally, assemble a disaster safety kit containing essentials like food, water, pet crate and important documents.
  • Insurance Coverage Review: Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy, including coverage details and claim procedures. Keep your policy number and insurer’s contact information readily accessible for swift action in case of damage or evacuation.

Precautionary measures for areas at high risk for Kelowna wildfires

  • Home Preparation: Safeguard your home by ensuring roofs, exterior walls, and balconies are treated with flame-resistant materials. This proactive step can significantly mitigate fire risks.
  • Proper Storage: Keep flammable materials such as gasoline and solvents at least 10 metres away from your home to minimize ignition risks.
  • Debris Management: Regularly remove dry leaves, debris, and combustible garbage from around your property, especially if you have wood or vinyl siding.
  • Space Management: Maintain a clear zone of at least 10 metres around your home by removing shrubs, trees, and woodpiles. This helps create a defensible space that can deter wildfire spread.

Stay Informed and Vigilant

  • Weather Monitoring: Stay abreast of weather updates and fire danger ratings from local and provincial sources. Timely information empowers proactive decision-making.
  • Adherence to Bans and Restrictions: Obey fire bans and restrictions to prevent accidental ignitions. Your cooperation plays a crucial role in mitigating wildfire risks within our community.

With severe weather events causing substantial insured losses, the need for climate resilience is more pressing than ever. Proactive measures can significantly reduce the impact of wildfires on homes and communities. We can better protect our families and properties from potential devastation by implementing the recommended steps and staying vigilant throughout the wildfire season.

Remember, being prepared today ensures having a safer tomorrow. Is your home wildfire ready? Kelowna Valley Insurance is here to help you safeguard your home against wildfire risks with comprehensive coverage and expert guidance.

CONTACT US today to learn more about our insurance solutions tailored to your needs. Stay safe, stay prepared!