Wildfire Causes, Prevention and Home Insurance

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

When wildfires come up in conversation, most people connect them with dry, parched areas where trees are randomly transformed to kindling from negligent campfires or cigarettes. Many times, that’s the case. But it might surprise you to know that a large scale of wildfire causes are thunderstorms accompanied by powerful lightning.

In United States, fires caused by lightning strikes are estimated to be $451 million in direct damages each year.  The most prominent months for these occurrences are June, July and August.

Home insurance losses in Texas were second only to Georgia a few years ago for lightning losses. While Georgia had more claims, Texas claims cost far more, averaging $8,000 per claim.

Lightning can be very unpredictable even though the three summer months mentioned above are considered ‘lightning season’. It’s much better to decrease your chances of home damage due to lightning strikes by heeding a few of these tips to make your home safer from strong thunder and lightning storms:

  • Cut dead tree branches or rotting trees before June.
  • Batten down the hatches and make sure any outdoor patio furniture or other objects are tethered securely.
  • Shutters for your windows are a smart preventive measure. If you don’t have shutters, at the very least close your blinds and curtains.
  • All electronic equipment (computer and/or cell phone in your home should be unplugged. These wires are the textbook conduits for electricity and cause power surges during thunderstorms.
  • Surge protectors are recommended, even though they might not totally protect your electronics, at least they provide a better chance of survival for them.
  • A smart and generally recommended safe rule is to stay away from open windows during a storm. While lightning may be a beautiful natural phenomenon, remember it is equally dangerous and can cause dreadful wildfires.

To learn more about lightning statistics, visit this site. Understand the facts about lightning and its dangers might one day be a lifesaving piece of information.

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