Reducing Fire Risks Following Earthquakes
Earthquakes themselves may not be the only causes of damage when they occur. They may trigger other hazards that can damage homes and personal property. The potential for fires is among these risks.
A quake-triggered fire may come from broken gas lines, electrical spars or even candles burning at the time of the incident. Should a fire damage your home, you might turn to your insurance for help repairing the damage.
Insurance for Quake-Related Fires
It may surprise many earthquake insurance policyholders to learn that their policy may not cover fires. Not all earthquake policies cover fire damage.
Often, homeowners insurance, rather than quake coverage, may provide the claims necessary to repair quake-related fire damage. In California, the law requires that all homeowners insurance come with a degree of earthquake-related fire coverage.
However, don’t let this fire coverage rule fool you. Homeowners insurance may not cover other risks associated with earthquakes. Therefore, many quake zone residents should invest in both homeowners and earthquake insurance. These two policies may combine for more effective quake coverage.
Quake-related Fire Prevention Tips
If you live in a quake zone, you likely know that major quakes can strike with very little or no warning. Therefore, you may have no time to prepare when a quake strikes.
Nonetheless, those familiar with quakes know that preparation beforehand is a key to reducing damage risks.
- Look into quake-resistant construction methods. Many residents of quake zones use reinforced construction when building their homes. This can help reduce the risks of severe damage, and potentially fires, following a quake.
- The electrical, HVAC, gas and other systems might trigger fires. Inspect and repair damages to these systems regularly. Regular maintenance and repairs may help you avoid a quake triggering a fire.
- Consider installing emergency shutoff valves for electrical, gas and other risky systems. Sometimes, these systems can even sense seismic activity and automatically shut off.
- Some homeowners install fire suppressant systems in their homes, such as sprinklers. Even if you don’t install sprinklers, still keep fire suppressant systems on hand. These might include sand bags, extinguishers or hand pumps.
- Anchor potentially risky items to the walls or floors near them. Anchoring items may even prevent damage to valuable property.
Regardless of when a quake strikes. Always have an emergency plan in place. Have the contact information for local emergency services on hand at all times. Also assemble an emergency kit containing first aid kits, survival items and vital information.
Get covered today. Call JSW Insurance at 925.737.1560 for a California earthquake insurance quote.