Colorado regulators stress the importance of fire mitigation despite a favorable forecast

Kathleen Gray, a U.S. Forest Service fuels planner, works a controlled burn outside of Frisco, Colorado., on May 2, 2022.

A favorable wildfire outbreak has been forecasted for the wildfire season in Colorado this summer. The prediction holds that the wildfire season will be on average or below average.  

Despite this favorable forecast, Colorado regulators are stressing the need for homeowners to take measures that will reduce wildfire outbreaks as they are already making preparations to keep things in place ahead of the season.  

Although the forecast seems comforting, there are still some things that trigger fire outbreaks in mountainous areas. Owing to this, the Colorado regulators are educating homeowners on how crucial fire mitigation is. 

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 The Colorado Division in charge of insurance matters provided some guidelines to homeowners on how they can take safety precautions against wildfire outbreaks this summer. 

The guidelines are listed below:

  1. They urged homeowners to use flame-retardant building materials in their homes. They emphasized highly flammable areas, such as the roof. The roof is one of the parts of a building that picks up fire fast.  
  1. Homeowners should clear highly flammable items far from their building. That is, they should create a safe zone around the house by removing things that are highly flammable far away from their homes. These include getting rid of leaves, trees, pine needles, and brush. 

This safety zone should be about 100 feet, although the approved length is 200-500 feet.

  1. It is critical for homeowners to ensure they store fuel or propane tanks nothing less than 30 feet from other structures.
  1. The Colorado Division of Insurance also admonishes homeowners to make sure that the fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in their homes are in good working conditions all the time.  
  1. For people who cannot access community hydrants or water systems, they should store water in a tank. Such persons should also ensure they have a garden hose that is long enough to reach everywhere in the compound. The hose should be at a spot where everyone can see and access it. 
  1. They should ensure that the road that leads to their houses is accessible so that fire-fighting tools can get there. They should also make sure that the address of the street on their entrance should be visible enough to firefighters.

According to State regulators, the majority of those in Colorado do not necessarily need special wildfire insurance. This situation is because the wildfire insurance is part of the fire outbreak service provided under the primary homeowners’ policy. 

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They pointed out that house owners should bear in mind that certain factors determine the type of insurance they need. These factors are:

  • The category of the house or home
  • The properties in it and 
  • If a business is being run there or not

The Division in charge of insurance advised homeowners to take the following steps regarding wildfire insurance: 

  1. They should know the kind of policy they have. 
  1. Homeowners should evaluate their policy and what it covers every year and ensure it is at the same rate as construction cost.  
  2. They should keep a record of what is in the home too. Record-keeping is necessary because it is only the house owner that will know the extent of damage of a fire outbreak, robbery, etc. 
  3. Homeowners should ensure they provide their insurance company or agent with adequate information so the company or agent can ensure they get the correct coverage. 

Also, homeowners should ensure they inform their insurance company or agent of modifications that will likely affect the coverage and ensure they have a clear understanding of the agreement they sign. 

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