Roy Wright presents latest scientific guidance during California Department of Insurance Workshop
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Senior Director of Communications
Public Affairs Manager
Richburg, S.C., December 10, 2020 – As California grapples with the wildfire risk across the state, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today shared the latest science-based guidance to reduce wildfire risk during a California Department of Insurance workshop. Roy Wright, president & CEO of IBHS, brought the organization’s scientific expertise from a decade of work at the IBHS Research Center and numerous post-fire field investigations to “Modeling Wildfire Risk and Mitigation in the Era of Climate Change.”
“Wildfire risk to communities can be reduced, but it cannot be eliminated. Research in the field and in our lab has demonstrated the clear set of actions that must be taken to give homes a better chance. Yet, this set of actions requires stakeholders to work together to implement and vigilantly maintain wildfire-resistant properties,” explains Wright. “Each home is a system with multiple vulnerabilities, so no single action alone will significantly reduce wildfire risk but, collaboratively, communities can bring down their risk.”
IBHS lays out the actions for homeowners, neighborhoods and communities in its Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps and Wildfire Ready guide for homeowners to walk stakeholders through the opportunities to reduce wildfire risk. Filling the need for actionable guidance specifically for closely-built suburban communities, the Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps qualitatively describe the relative vulnerabilities of eight components of the home and actions to improve the risk. Wildfire Ready turns the nuanced technical report into a progressive guide for homeowners that prioritizes the actions that give a home a better chance of surviving a wildfire.
“Embers can pick up and loft regularly more than half a mile. This ability to transport themselves fundamentally changes who is at risk to wildfire because once fire enters a community a domino effect begins as one burning home generates more lofted embers and produces radiant heat making the neighboring homes vulnerable. This domino effect makes community adaptation vital to wildfire mitigation,” continues Wright, a northern California native who grew up with wildfire risk. “Communities, neighborhoods, and individuals must work together using wildfire resistant materials and designs as well as vigilant maintenance.”
IBHS is committed to producing leading wildfire research that delivers actionable guidance to empower home- and businessowners to prevent avoidable loss.
“As we dive even deeper into wildfire science, we must apply the learnings we already have to improve communities’ chances against wildfire. The roof, the 0-5-foot home ignition zone, the area underneath a deck, and vents are the first items that must be addressed,” Wright adds.
Home and business owners eager to take action against wildfire can explore Wildfire Ready and Wildfire Ready‒Business at disastersafety.org/wildfire.
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.