RSA wildfire warnings as weather warms up

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
As the weather begins to heat up, RSA - one of Canada’s leading home, auto and business insurers - is urging Canadians to do a few simple things around their homes to ensure they’re better prepared to deal with wildfires.

“You don't have to live in a high risk area to be threatened by wildfires. Burning material, embers and smoke can travel beyond brush, grassland and forest areas, which is why it is essential you and your family are prepared,” RSA spokesperson Brodie Bott says.

“Experiencing a wildfire can be an incredibly traumatic experience for you and your family, but there are some simple things you can do to better protect yourself and prevent injury and loss of property,” he says.

“It pays to have a plan in place and be prepared for the worst. That way, you and your family can be ready to spring into action should a wildfire ignite.”

The warning comes after recent RSA research found that more than 51 percent of Canadians are not prepared for an emergency.  

RSA’s tips to being prepared for wildfires include:

  • Always follow the directions of local authorities, and follow evacuation orders if given; DO NOT deviate from the evacuation plan
  • Put together an emergency kit, which should include a carry case for your pet and appropriate supplies (including non-perishable food items, batteries, blankets, etc.)
  • Ensure that you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and that their batteries are working
  • Keep trees and bushes trimmed to ensure that branches are not touching your home
  • Use fire resistant roofing materials, and ensure that branches, leaves and other debris are cleared off the roof
  • Check that eaves, gutters and downspouts are made of non-combustible material and are cleaned regularly

“It’s also vitally important that families have a fully stocked first aid kit that they can use until emergency services arrive,” Bott says. “Families should always conduct regular fire drills and know fire safety techniques wherever possible.”

“If possible, we also recommend talking to your local fire department for more information on how to get wildfire-prepared, including how to make your home more fire-resistant.”

More information about being prepared for wildfires can be found by visiting the Canadian Government’s Get Prepared website.

Please stay safe and call us at 1-800-319-9993 if you need to submit a claim.

Media Enquiries: 
Siriphone Maldonado
Communications Manager
(647) 776-9248