Protect your home from wildfires with FireSmart

While water damage is regular news in the spring, it’s also the start of wildfire season. On May 2, 2015 Canadians of all ages took part in their local national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event to learn how to prepare in case of wildfires and make their communities safer.

The day was made possible through a joint effort with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), The Co-operators, and FireSmart Canada. The Co-operators provided funding to 24 organizations for their local efforts, including brush cleanups, hosting a chipping day, distributing wildfire safety information to neighbours and more.

What causes wildfires?

Wildfires have started naturally for over 400 million years and happen on a regular basis, but Canada has ranked third in economic losses from wildfires for the past 23 years. The reasons for this continued increase include:

  • Rising global temperatures
  • Extreme weather events
  • The growing world population and development
  • Changes to how land is used

Researchers are predicting “an alarming increase over the next 20 or 30 years in the risk of property damage in the wildland-urban interface, including risk of homes destroyed by fire,” says Paul Kovacs, founder and executive director of ICLR. “Fortunately, most of these losses are preventable if property owners and communities take the time to prepare.”

Preventing wildfires takes group effort. “Proper risk management requires a partnership in which insurance companies, emergency responders, property owners and others each play a crucial role,” The Co-operators president and CEO Kathy Bardswick stated.

Learn more about the Partners in Protection FireSmart program, which was developed by wildfire experts to help homeowners protect their homes and property.