State Farm® Insurance Funds will Urge Preparedness with 100 Feet of Clean Open Space
SACRAMENTO, CA (April 28, 2010) – As the peak of wildfire season begins, homeowners across the state are urged to prepare and protect their property by creating 100 feet of clean, open – or defensible space – around their properties to help prevent the spreading of wildfires. State Farm® Insurance is providing the California Fire Alliance a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant of $50,000 to help create and distribute materials for the Alliance’s “Take Responsibility” public education campaign.
“Raising awareness about 100 feet of clean, open space is a critical step in limiting the devastating effects of wildfires.” stated Pacific Southwest Regional Forester, Randy Moore, and the California Fire Alliance Chairman. “The Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant from State Farm will assist in our efforts to raise awareness among homeowners as the peak of wildfire season begins.” Homeowners, especially those who live in the wildland urban interface (WUI), are urged to take simple measures that will help protect homes, families, pets and firefighters against wildfire-related losses.
According to Kelly Fernandez, State Farm/California Fire Operations Manager, “This funding will go a long way in educating residents in fire prone areas across California with the necessary steps they need to protect their properties. State Farm supports this “Take Responsibility” initiative in the hopes of reducing not only property loss, but the loss of life in the future.”
In 2007, California suffered one of the worst fire seasons in history, with more than 8,000 individual fires, 1.6 million acres burned, and 3,830 structures lost*. In 2008, State Farm experienced 25 total wildfire losses and 1,207 total claims, and through 2009, State Farm has experienced 30 total wildfire losses and 958 total claims, 17 of these losses resulting from the May 2009 Jesusita wildfire in Santa Barbara County.
The $50,000 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant to aid the “Take Responsibility” campaign is another way that State Farm can remind its California residents to take responsibility and remain on the defensive during the annual wildfire season.
The California Fire Alliance reminds Californians that there are five easy steps to create 100 feet of clean, open – or defensible – space around homes:
Remove dead shrubs, dried grass, fallen branches and dried leaves 100 feet around your house. Trim and separate plants and shrubs to stop fire from spreading. Remove ladder fuels – plants, shrubs and low branches that let a fire on the ground climb into the trees. Clear five feet around the base of the house and fill the space with fire resistant plants or materials such as rocks or gravel. Take care of the clean, open space around your home on a regular basis.
Greg Sherlock, State Farm Insurance Public Affairs, (661) 478-1331.
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and more than 67,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – almost 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.