Standard to Lay Out Science-based Home Improvements, Neighborhood Characteristics, and Ongoing Maintenance Steps Shown in Testing to Reduce Wildfire Risk
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Managing Director, Communications
Public Relations Manager
RICHBURG, S.C., August 5, 2021 – The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today announced it intends to publish Wildfire Prepared Home, a set of requisite mitigation actions that when taken together will reduce a given property’s wildfire risk in a suburban context, addressing the growing wildfire crisis with today’s science.
Building on the Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps IBHS published in 2020, the Wildfire Prepared Home framework incorporates available wildfire science, building performance characteristics, field investigations, data analytics insights, and contributions from other wildfire leaders. In addition, the framework will identify science-based neighborhood characteristics that significantly impact the risk profile of a home.
While IBHS’s Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps are deep and wide-ranging, in contrast, the forthcoming Wildfire Prepared Home designation focuses on the most essential measures. Taken together, these mitigation actions and neighborhood risk characteristics will describe how the wildfire resilience of a property can be meaningfully distinguished from unmitigated or partially-mitigated properties.
“The wildfire peril afflicting the West is complex, yet solvable,” says Roy Wright, IBHS president and CEO. “A home needs to be prepared for wildfire. Suburban homeowners, insurers, communities, and policymakers all have a shared interest in adopting a consistent, science-driven set of mitigation actions shown in field and lab studies to reduce the chance a home will be ignited when wildfire approaches. They’re willing to take targeted actions on their property and in their neighborhood, proven out by science to improve wildfire resilience, and we are now nearing an inflection point where we can confidently point to those activities that matter most and, as a result, all groups can expect a meaningful reduction in wildfire risk.”
Researchers know that material choices for new construction, critical home improvements for existing properties and necessary ongoing home and yard maintenance can reduce the possibility of a suburban property being affected during a wildfire. While there is still much to be discovered as wildfire science advances, a clearer path to wildfire resilience is emerging.
In the development of Wildfire Prepared Home, a draft framework will be published to facilitate broad engagement in the effort to prioritize public understanding and use. IBHS anticipates this framework will evolve as wildfire resilience science continues to mature and develop. IBHS will periodically update progress on this endeavor at www.wildfireprepared.org.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.