Roy Wright presents testimony on the unique wildfire risks for suburban communities
RICHBURG, S.C., October 19, 2020 – As the record-setting year of wildfires continues to ravage California, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today brought its scientific expertise to Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s Homeowners’ Insurance Investigatory Hearing on the risk of wildfire in the state of California. IBHS is committed to developing and advancing solutions to help Californians coexist with wildfires to further the Institute’s mission of property loss reduction.
Wildfire risk to homes, businesses and communities can be reduced, but it cannot be eliminated. Wildfire-resistant materials and designs, coupled with vigilant maintenance, work together to drive down risk. Buildings are systems with multiple vulnerabilities, so no single action alone will significantly reduce wildfire risk. One part of a home or business may be wildfire-resistant while another remains highly vulnerable leaving the structure, neighborhood and community at risk.
“Californians are facing a complex opponent in wildfire and the solution requires stakeholders to work collaboratively toward a common goal. IBHS is committed to helping suburban communities apply the science to advance their resilience to wildfire,” says Roy Wright, president and CEO of IBHS. “Research has shown there are clear steps you can take to give your home a much better chance during wildfire conditions.”
Earlier this year, IBHS released the Suburban Wildfire Adaption Roadmaps and Wildfire Ready guide to fill the critical gap in wildfire science with effective and actionable guidance to address the growing losses that occur when wildfire spreads beyond the wildland urban interface (WUI) into dense suburban communities. The Roadmaps provide a nuanced look at the intricate characteristics of closely built neighborhoods and the vulnerability of these characteristics. Building on the expertise of the Roadmaps, Wildfire Ready translates the science into a progressive guide for homeowners that prioritizes the actions that give a home a better chance of surviving a wildfire.
“Bringing together stakeholders is a necessary step to driving change in California. The science has laid out actions at the ecosystem, community and neighborhood levels that all must be addressed together to bend down the risk curve,” adds Wright.
IBHS is committed to advancing pioneering wildfire science to prevent avoidable loss by better protecting homes, businesses and communities from the ravages of wildfire. The Institute will continue to work with partners across California such as the WUI Chapter 7A Task Force organized by the California State Fire Marshall to apply the science to drive down property losses. Home and business owners eager to address their wildfire risk can explore Wildfire Ready and Wildfire Ready‒Business at disastersafety.org/wildfire.