NOVATO, Calif. (June 21, 2007) - Fireman's Fund Insurance Company today announced the immediate launch of a new wildfire readiness program to help millions of Bay Area homeowners protect their homes from wildfires.
Every year, as California's rolling hills turn from green to yellow, the threat of another dangerous wildfire season returns. Depending on topography and landscape, California law requires all homeowners to create a defensible space between 30 to 100 feet around their homes by clearing brush and grass, but many residents don't know exactly what to cut or how to do it.
Fireman's Fund is unveiling the Wildfire Readiness Helpline (800-317-0575), a toll-free number Bay Area homeowners can call to receive a free on-site inspection of their home. In partnership with FireProtec, a full-service vegetation removal company, the visit will be conducted by a firefighting professional who will provide customized advice on how to create a defensible space around the person's home. The analysis will include tips on what brush, grass and trees need to be cleared. Homeowners will have the option of getting the brush professionally removed at a 10 percent discount, an offer typically only available to Fireman's Fund policyholders.
The free program is available to homeowners in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
"We have a longstanding commitment of supporting the fire service and making communities safer," said Robert Courtemanche, president of Personal Insurance at Fireman's Fund. "This program leverages our preexisting relationship with the fire service to help protect our policyholders and all residents of the Bay Area."
California's two most devastating fires, the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County and the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, destroyed a combined 7,747 homes.
"No one wants to be included in those types of statistics," said Marin County Fire Chief Ken Massucco. "Creating a defensible space is the most important factor in protecting your home and Fireman's Fund is taking a leadership role by educating and helping homeowners."
As part of this initiative, Fireman's Fund will also offer an expanded home inspection to all of its homeowner's insurance policyholders. A Wildfire Home Protection Review ($150 value) will be available at no charge, to provide a more comprehensive assessment of all dangers in and around the homeowner's property. The analysis covers a broad range of risks, from easy-to-fix items like removing propane tanks from under decks to more extensive items like replacing flammable roofing materials.
Fireman's Fund has a longstanding commitment of supporting the fire service and making communities safer. Since 2004, Fireman's Fund HeritageSM, the company's philanthropic program, has donated more than $3.5 million to over 100 different fire departments in California for equipment, training and community education programs. Nationwide, Fireman's Fund Heritage has donated more than $13 million.
About Fireman's Fund
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is a premier property and casualty insurance company providing personal, commercial and specialty insurance products nationwide. Fireman's Fund is a member of the Allianz Group (NYSE: AZ), one of the world's largest providers of property and casualty insurance and other financial services. For additional information, visit www.firemansfund.com.