As Fire Season is in full swing in California, it seems important to talk about some precautions you should take to protect your home and its contents. Regardless of where your home is located, the unpredictable nature of windy conditions, low humidity, and flying embers can make almost every area in California susceptible to the threat of fire.
Review your Homeowner’s Insurance policy – Home owners and renters alike should take the time to locate your current policy and take a look at the key factors such as your replacement value, deductible, loss of personal property and loss of use. It may also be useful to have a conversation with your insurance agent to help take a look at your policy, especially if you’ve owned the home for a number of years. Most especially review the replacement value if you’ve recently upgraded, improved, or remodeled your home.
Take pictures of your home – Whip out your phone right now and take pictures of every room in your house, regardless of whether it is neat and tidy. Open all of your kitchen cabinets and take pictures of the contents. Do the same for your closets and bathroom cabinets. Also take pictures of the complete outside of your home. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have another family member or roommate do the same thing so you have a second set of pictures. This will be significantly useful in the event of any loss or damage to your property.
Register for updates - Most California fire authority entities have an active alert system that you can sign up for online, such as AlertOC and AlertLA. In addition, register for alerts with your electricity provider. Intentional power outages are now a common practice in high wind situations and most power companies will email or text you with information on your area. Notification can help you be appropriately informed and then plan accordingly.
Be aware of the Ready, Set, Go approach to evacuation - Looking at the Orange County Fire Authority website, there are 23 videos on the Ready, Set, Go strategy that you’d be well served to watch and take appropriate action. The Los Angeles Fire Department web site also has a Ready, Set, Go tab and a ton of good advice and several videos. “Go early” is a common theme among these web sites. You don’t want to wait until the last minute if you’ve been asked to evacuate. This could endanger both your family and the firefighting efforts.
Be safe, help keep your family and pets safe, and help the firefighters be as safe and successful in their efforts to save lives and home in the event of disaster.
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.