The Co-operators, in partnership with FireSmart Canada, is rolling out a new resource to guide homeowners and builders on how to make houses more resilient to wildfire.
Called the FireSmart Home Development Guide, the manual outlines specific measures that property owners and builders can take to decrease the risk of wildfire damage. The guide provides recommendations on roofing material and design; siding and vents; gutters and eaves; decks; fencing; landscaping, and so on.
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“Canadians have seen the devastating personal, social and economic impact of wildfires, the most tragic of which occurred in Fort McMurray last year,” The Co-operators president and CEO Rob Wesseling said. “Fortunately, we know that proactive mitigation efforts by individual property owners can significantly reduce wildfire risk. By making the FireSmart Home Development Guide available, we are hoping to inspire homeowners to take action to protect what matters most – their loved ones and property.”
The guide is also being made part of the FireSmart Home Partners Program – an initiative that is currently piloting in four communities: Fort Nelson First Nation, B.C., Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, B.C., Slave Lake, Alta. and Whitecourt, Alta. The program is looking to develop a standardized system for wildfire risk assessments and measurable risk reductions for individual properties.
“Any place where conditions allow for ignition and spread of fire between structures and vegetation – the wildland-urban interface – people are more exposed to the risk of wildfire, and that needs to be considered and managed by all stakeholders, including property owners,” said FireSmart Canada executive director Kelly Johnston. “Preparing for the threat of wildfire is a shared responsibility that will only grow in importance as climate change and other factors continue to increase the risk. The FireSmart Home Partners Program provides homeowners with the tools and information to reduce the risk of wildfire to their homes.”
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