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Protect your home from wildfires with FireSmart

Recent wildfire seasons across Canada have illustrated the vulnerability of communities to wildfires, as well as the potential for devastating loss.

Since 2015, The Co-operators has been a founding partner of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). Spearheaded by Partners in Protection under their FireSmart brand, approximately 20-30 communities are awarded funding each year for local mitigation efforts to protect homes and communities from wildfire.

In partnership with Partners in Protection, we recently developed the FireSmart Home Development Guide to help Canadians make informed decisions about how to protect their homes and loved ones from wildfire.

What causes wildfires?

Wildfires can start naturally and happen on a regular basis, but Canada has ranked third in economic losses from wildfires for the past 23 years. The reasons for this continued increase include:

  • Rising global temperatures
  • Extreme weather events
  • The growing world population and development
  • Changes to how land is used

Researchers are predicting “an alarming increase over the next 20 or 30 years in the risk of property damage in the wildland-urban interface, including risk of homes destroyed by fire,” says Paul Kovacs, executive director of ICLR. “Fortunately, most of these losses are preventable if property owners and communities take the time to prepare.”

According to the ICLR, “FireSmart is the Number 1 mitigation program for wildfire in Canada.”

Preventing wildfires takes group effort. Proper risk management requires a partnership in which insurance companies, emergency responders, property owners and others each play a crucial role.

Learn more about Partners in Protection’s FireSmart program that was developed by wildfire experts to help homeowners protect their homes and property.