Tag Archives: Port Lavaca

A Casual Look at Property & Casualty Insurance

While shopping for insurance, whether for your home or business, you may have heard the term “property and casualty insurance” used by your agent or insurance representative. When looking at your quote or reviewing your issued policy, you will see lists of coverages such as “personal property” or “general liability”. These coverages fall under either Casualty or Property and make up the essential parts of your policy. Without these, there would be no coverage and no protection for your assets.

But, “what is property and casualty insurance and do I need it?”

Property Coverage

You may find Property coverage more straightforward than its counterpart, Casualty. If you carry any insurance for your building, equipment, furnishings, or your home, car, or personal belongings, then you already have property coverage built into your policy. This coverage protects you against direct damages to your property by covering causes like fire, lightening, and wind.

Property coverage can also apply to loss of income generating ability, as you would find in Business Income coverage. This applies specifically to your ability to generate income in the event of a covered accident or damage that prevents your business from operating. A few days or several weeks could cripple your business and result in closing without this type of property coverage.

Casualty Coverage

Casualty can be difficult to define but it typically refers to the liability coverage found in business and personal policies. The term casualty is not applied to Life, Health or Property policies where liability is not a factor. You will probably hear most often that casualty is insurance covering injury or property damage to others “for which you are legally liable”.  In simpler terms, it is coverage for damages caused by you due to your negligence.

Accidents happen both at home and on the job all the time which can result in injuries.  A friend visiting your house could be seriously hurt because the deck you built collapsed.  Or, a customer at your salon might slip-and-fall because of an unsecured mat and suffer serious fractures. These types of accidents are not anticipated but because of our potentially negligent acts, could result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and legal fees.

Why Do I Need It?

If you own anything of value that you could not replace out-of-pocket in the unfortunate event of disaster, then chances are that you need Property and Casualty insurance.

If you have ever been careless while driving, at home, or at your place of business, you need Property and Casualty insurance.

For all the savings you may have or for all the planning you’ve done, nothing can prepare you for an unexpected event like a fire. The cost to repair and replace your belongings and cleanup the damage in the aftermath could total in the thousands. The best and most effective plan for protecting yourself and your family from financial crisis is insurance.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taking the Risk Out of Building

As the U.S. home market slowly recovers, builders are seeing a boost in construction contracts. New commercial buildings are being built at a rapid pace. With these surges in construction, specialized policies like Builder’s Risk provide important protection against exposures that are unique to the building trade.

The Basics of Builder’s Risk

The Builder’s Risk policy provides protection for homes or commercial buildings under construction, while being remodeled, or undergoing renovation. The policy covers materials like concrete, lumber, and fixtures as well as machinery and equipment used to maintain the building. The policy also covers the cost to remove debris caused by a covered accident, like a fire or lightning strike.

In most cases, a Builder’s Risk policy is required for buildings under construction and purchased when the home or building is at least 30% complete. The limit of insurance is based on the estimated value of the project once its complete. Because the value will increase as glass, framing, and other materials are added, the limit should also be increased. Once the project is done, coverage will end when the building has been taken over by the owner, the work has been complete for 90 days, or the builder has abandoned the project.

Pitfalls and Perils

Accidents happen and by their nature, they’re never anticipated. An accident can stall or completely stop a building project. To avoid the pitfalls of damage, there are three types of perils coverage to choose from: Limited Perils, Specified Perils, or Special Perils.
Each has their own unique advantages but the most inclusive is Special Peril, which covers accidental losses that are not specifically excluded. While this type of coverage is the most attractive, it is also the most expensive. Though the cost may be more than its counterparts, the broad coverage pays for itself in the event of a large loss that might otherwise have been excluded.
Valuing Your Property

It’s a common misconception that all property policies replace damaged items based on their original replacement value. While many companies sell enhanced policies with special endorsements, like Replacement Cost, a great majority of policies come with Actual Cash Value.

In the event of covered damage to your property, claims are paid on an Actual Cash Value basis by default. This means only the depreciated cost to repair or replace will be paid. This can leave the project with a shortfall in funds and possibly halt further construction. To avoid this common mistake, check the policy and endorsements to ensure that Replacement Cost coverage is included.

Policy Limitations

While the coverage provided is vital to most building projects, limitations apply. Builder’s Risk does not cover Earthquake, Flood, Steam Boiler, or intentional acts of damage. Because policies vary by company, coverage for materials in transit, equipment such as scaffolding and trailers, or theft of materials may be limited or excluded. For an additional premium, separate policies or endorsements can be added to ensure coverage is in place where it is needed.

Coy Sunderman is a risk advisor specializing in risk solutions for construction businesses, oil & gas operations, manufacturers and distributors/wholesales. Coy is a Certified Work Comp Advisory and holds his CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) designation.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Small Employer Tax Credit Changes for 2014

The small employer tax credit was created in 2010 upon the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Next year, a few key aspects of the tax credit will change.

For 2014 and later taxable years, the maximum credit increases to 50 percent of premiums paid for taxable small employers and 35 percent of premiums paid for tax-exempt small employers. But those credit percentages are based on the average premium in the small group market in the rating area where employees sign up, instead of the specific premium chosen by employees.

Also beginning in 2014, the health care tax credit is only available to an employer for two consecutive taxable years, and cannot start before the 2014 taxable year. Finally, the new rules require employers to obtain group coverage through an Exchange to claim the credit.

Please contact Texas Associates Insurors for more information on the small employer tax credit.

 

 

Dana Rostro is the Director of Employee Benefits Sales and Operations at Texas Associates Insurors.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Consider Risk Management Strategies When Buying a Home

houseReal estate markets in many parts of the country are heating up, with prices rising at a good clip. In many areas, it is a true seller’s market. So buyers should take heed of the various risks inherent in buying a home and should use sound risk management strategies before taking the plunge on an asset of such size. Here are some risk management and insurance tips to consider for your clients who are shopping for a home.

  • Consider the financial risks by not overextending yourself when buying a home. A good rule of thumb is not to buy a home that costs over 2.5 times your annual salary. Many online calculators can assist you in determining the maximum price for a home you can afford.
  • Consider the property and casualty risks. What are the key loss exposures to the home? For example, is the home in a flood zone? How far is it from the nearest fire department? Is it in an earthquake seismic zone 3 or 4?
  • What is the condition of the home? If it is apparent the home has not been properly cared for by viewing surface level deficiencies, there is a good chance that deeper problems may eventually manifest themselves. Thus, the value of a good home inspector cannot be overemphasized. If it is an older home, when were the various systems upgraded?
  • What types of losses have appeared on the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report during the past 5 years? For example, a pattern of water losses may be a warning sign.
  • What type of loss control features does the home have? For example, is there a central station burglar and fire alarm system or a sprinkler system? If the home is in a hurricane-prone area, what windstorm protection devices are in place,
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Commercial Umbrella Insurance & Why Do You Need It?

Most businesses have a variety of insurance policies to cover things like employment liability, property damage, officers and directors, commercial vehicles, workers compensation, etc. The coverage you purchase should be specific to your business, the industry in which you work, and the unique risks you and your employees face in a typical workday. In theory, your business insurance policies should cover you in the event your business is sued. The reality, however is that the amount of liability protection these policies offer may not provide enough financial protection. This can leave your business open to risk and make your assets vulnerable.

Lawsuits Are On The Rise

Our society is becoming more litigious every day. In fact, recent research shows that 89% of Americans believe lawsuit abuse is a problem. The rise in the number of lawsuits (both legitimate and not) and the size of jury verdicts impose a heavy financial burden on many businesses, large and small. Just consider some recent cases that have hit the courts:

  • Pizza maker Papa Johns is the subject of a $250 million class action lawsuit over text messages it sent to customers offering discounts and coupons on pizza
  • The maker of Nutella, a popular hazelnut spread, agreed to settle a $3 million class action suit that alleged it falsely claimed its product was healthy
  • And who can forget the famous case of Liebeck v. McDonald’s, in which 80-year-old Stella Liebeck spilled a McDonald’s coffee in her lap, causing third-degree burns on her legs, lap, and groin area. Liebeck tried to solicit McDonald’s for a mere $800 to cover the skin grafts required for her injuries, but McDonald’s refused. Ultimately, the jury settled, awarding Liebeck $2.7 million.

Such lawsuits are not restricted to large companies like Papa Johns, Nutella and McDonalds. Take the case of Eric Nordby, who owns several small businesses in Auburn, California. He was the subject of a lawsuit alleging non-compliance with ADA requirements. At the time the suit was filed, the plaintiff in the case was been responsible for filing 140 of the 200 ADA-related cases in the Eastern District of California. Whereas other defendants chose to settle for upwards of $15,000, Nordby chose to fight the suit.

In cases like Nordby’s, there are no guarantees that the outcome will be in the business owner’s favor, and there is a very real possibility that the legal fees incurred, or the settlement, may cause extreme financial hardship for the business. This is because no matter what precautions you have taken, there may be gaps in your business insurance policies.

Why Umbrella Insurance

A commercial umbrella insurance policy can augment your existing business policy with supplementary liability protection against financial losses stemming from lawsuits and accidents. These types of policies are designed to provide increased limits of financial protection to your business from unexpected risks, and best of all, they are surprisingly affordable. That’s because the underlying policy limits are used first and your commercial umbrella coverage limits only kick in after those policies have reached their limits.

For example, if your current policy covers you for $2 million and you are successfully sued for $3 million, your business umbrella policy can pay the outstanding $1,000,000. Without umbrella coverage, this money would have to come out of your business profits.

There are a variety of things that an umbrella policy can cover. Some common examples include:

  • Excess General Liability
  • Excess Commercial Auto Liability
  • Excess Employers’ Liability
  • Excess Product Liability
  • Excess Marine Liability
  • Excess Energy Liability
  • Excess Premises Liability
  • Excess Contractors’ Liability
  • Limited Excess Professional Liability

If you’re not sure whether your business should have a commercial umbrella policy, give us a call. One of our experts will be happy to review your existing policies and identify any potential gaps in coverage that a commercial umbrella policy can address.

Dave Perez is a risk advisor at Texas Associates Insurors and specializes in property and casualty risk assessments for business owners.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New ACA Guidance on HRA’s, FSA’s, and Cafeteria Plans

On Sept. 13, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on how certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules apply to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and cafeteria plans.

Under the new guidance, a group health plan, including an HRA, used to purchase coverage on the individual market cannot be integrated with that individual market coverage for purposes of the ACA’s annual dollar limit or preventive services requirements. This means that an HRA will need to be integrated with another group health plan to satisfy these rules.

Health FSAs must be offered through a cafeteria plan to be exempt from the annual limit prohibition. Also, health FSAs must qualify as “excepted benefits” to meet the preventive services requirements.

Finally, beginning in 2014, premiums for individual coverage through an Exchange cannot be reimbursed or paid for under a cafeteria plan.

For cafeteria plans that do not operate on a calendar-year plan year (as of Sept. 13, 2013), this restriction will apply beginning with the 2014 plan year. However, individuals may not claim a premium tax credit for any month in which they are covered by an individual plan purchased through an Exchange as a benefit under a cafeteria plan.

The guidance applies for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, but can be applied for all prior periods. For additional information, please consult the following resources:

 

Dana Rostro is the Director of Employee Benefits Sales and Operations at Texas Associates Insurors.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Communication & Technology Preparedness

According to The American Red Cross, the Internet—including online news sites and social media platforms—is the third-most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe. Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.

Stay Connected

Keep your contacts updated across all of your channels, including phone, email and social media. This will make it easy to reach out to the right people quickly to get information and supply updates. Consider creating a group list of your top contacts.

  • Learn how to send updates via text and Internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Text messages and the Internet often work during a phone service disruption.
  • Keep extra batteries for your phone in a safe place, or purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger. These chargers are good emergency tools to keep your laptop and other small electronics working in the event of a power outage. If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger so you can charge your phone if you lose power at your home.
  • In your cellphone, program some of your contacts as emergency contacts so that if you are unable to use your phone, emergency personnel can contact those people for you. Let your emergency contacts know that they are programmed into your phone, and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  • If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or Voice over Internet Protocol) phone, keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power.
  • If you are evacuated and have call forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cellphone number.
  • If you do not have a cellphone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
  • Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact who may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
  • Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio or television available (with spare batteries).

The following are additional tips for making phone calls and using your smartphone during or after a disaster:

  • Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
  • If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cellphone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
  • Conserve your cellphone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
  • If you lose power, you can charge your cellphone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (that is, remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
  • If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cellphone, talk or “tweet” without a hands-free device while driving.
  • Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to stream videos, download music or videos or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 911.
  • For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, email or social media instead of making voice calls on your cellphone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program.

Get Organized

Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in a password-protected area in the Cloud or on a secure flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available. This flash drive can be kept on a key ring so it can be accessed from any computer, anytime, anywhere. Remember important documents, such as:

  • Personal and property insurance
  • Identification such as driver’s license or passport (for family members, as well)
  • Banking information

Don’t forget your pets!

  • Store your pet’s veterinary medical records documents online.
  • Consider an information digital implant.
  • Keep a current photo of your pet in your online kit to aid in identification if you are separated.

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance. Create an Emergency Information document or Family Communications plan to record how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in different situations.

  • Make sure to share this document with family members, friends and co-workers who will also need to access it in an emergency or crisis.
  • When handling personal and sensitive information, always keep your data private and share it only with those who will need access in case of emergency.

Sign up for direct deposit and electronic banking through your financial institution so you can access your payroll funds and make electronic payments regardless of location.

Emergency Resources

Include these sites in your Emergency Information document to ensure that you can quickly access them from any computer or smartphone.

  • Download the FEMA App to access disaster preparedness tips, build your personal emergency kit and look for open Disaster Recovery Centers along with open shelters (if you’re a disaster survivor). Also, stay informed with the FEMA blog.
  • Local emergency management officials often have notification systems. Opt in to a distribution for your community. To find out if your community offers such services, contact your local office of Emergency Management.
  • Signup to receive a monthly preparedness tip from FEMA’s text messages program.
  • Bookmark important mobile sites:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://m.cdc.gov
  • American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/mobile
  • FEMA/Ready: http://m.fema.gov
  • National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov/mobile

In addition to insuring your home, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact Texas Associates Insurors at 512-328-7676 or http://www.txassoc.com today.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Small Business Legal Risks to Watch Out For

Every business has to make legal considerations on a daily basis, regardless of what industry they find themselves a part of. For small businesses and start-ups, legal considerations can often determine whether or not the company can achieve growth potential. Therefore, accounting for legal risks should be one of the fundamental characteristics of a small business’ enterprise risk management (ERM) strategy. Here are four legal risks that your ERM strategy must account for in order to safeguard your business.Insurance policy

Choosing your ownership structure

Choosing your ownership structure shows how businesses face legal risks before they even begin to operate. That’s why choosing the right ownership structure is such an important decision for businesses. This decision will impact whether or not you’ll be able to accept investors as well as how many and what types of investors. Your ownership structure will also influence whether you’ll be able to easily sell your company, what your personal legal liability will be and what your tax liability and benefits will be.

Litigation

Litigation is something that almost each and every operational business will have to deal with at some point. It is also something that can cost businesses a lot of money. For small business and start-up owners, legal fees can have a crippling effect on the company’s finances, often more so than actual settlements may demand. While juries tend to be sympathetic towards small businesses, the risk and cost of litigation is hardly ever justified and is something that should be avoided at all costs.

How do you avoid litigation? Seeking legal advice before you make any important business decisions that could lead to litigation can certainly help. Which brings us to our next point..

Failing to seek legal consultation when necessary

It’s only natural for small businesses and start-ups to avoid hiring an attorney in order to reduce legal costs. However, without appropriate legal advice, you run the risk of making decisions that could negatively impact on the business such as entering into legal agreements that don’t fully protect your interests. These failed decisions could end up costing the business much, much more than any legal consultation would. By failing to seek appropriate legal advice when necessary, your business may become threatened in the long run.

Ignoring Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property law is a complex area that is often avoided by small businesses, especially non-tech businesses that believe that they don’t face any intellectual property risk. However, failing to account for intellectual property and intellectual property insurance will leave your rights unprotected when it comes to the ownership of original ideas. This has the potential to significantly damage the future success of a small business, whether they realise it or not.

If your business is constantly experimenting and creating new technologies/processes that are unrivalled and eligible for patent, you may want to amend your employment agreements so that they clearly specify ownership of intellectual property. This can prove critically important when it comes to potential investments, particularly if you end up licensing your trademark to another company.

Legal matters may strike some small business owners as the itch that cannot be scratched, however, it is important to safeguard your business on an ongoing basis so that emerging legal implications are acknowledged and mitigated. By reviewing your risk management strategy and amending policy so that legal risks take focus, you can ensure your small business or start-up can become a success.

Small Businesses face many risks on a day to day basis but you can ensure the safety and future of your Business with a free risk assessment today.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Ways the Affordable Care Act Affects Small Businesses

Small Businesses have been cited by the White House as the ‘backbone’ of the United States Economy. That backbone of 28 million small employers saw dramatic changes  October 1, when the Health Insurance Exchanges opened, giving way to a new era of Health Care in the United States. So how exactly will the Affordable Care Act, which takes full effect on January 1, 2014 affect the ‘backbone’ of the US Economy? Here are 5 ways America’s small businesses will be affected by ‘Obamacare.’ health care benefits

Health Insurance

First and foremost, the Affordable Care Act provides for every single US citizen to purchase Health Insurance of some form or another come January 1, or else face hefty fines. This is the first step in what is expected to be a long, long road to nationwide coverage, along which businesses, big and small, will have a major role to play.

Come January, big businesses (50 employees or more) will be legally obliged to provide health insurance or pay a tax of $2,000 per employee (for all but the first 30 employees) starting January 2015. Smaller businesses (less than 50 employees) will also have to provide health insurance but will not be subject to fines, provided their employees get tax credits through an exchange. For small businesses with less than 25 employees, a tax credit of 35% will be made available to contribute towards health insurance provision.

Workplace Wellness

The Affordable Care Act will also create new incentives promoting workplace wellness programs, encouraging employers to take greater interest and more opportunities to support the health and well-being of employees. Funding will be provided as part of this preventative measure which has already been embraced by many businesses nationwide.

A study titled ‘Employee Benefits: Today and Beyond’ which surveyed US businesses found that: “almost half of employers (44%) are already increasing the use of wellness programs to improve the health of employees. Among these companies that have already implemented this approach, 33% have been very successful in achieving their desired cost savings.”

The Affordable Care Act will allow Businesses with workplace wellness programs, effective after 1, 2014, an tax credit increase of up to 20%, and a further 10% of the cost of health coverage if programs are designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use.

New Tax Credits

As mentioned above, one of the key factors in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is the introduction of new tax credits, designed to help make Health Insurance readily accessible to US citizens. This includes tax credits for Businesses, aimed at helping employers provide coverage for employees.

The small business tax credit, for example aims to help businesses with less than 50 employees afford the cost of healthcare coverage. The Affordable Care Act aims to raise this tax credit to 35% for by 2015 for businesses that purchase coverage through the SHOP marketplace which opens October,1.

SHOP Marketplaces

Those SHOP (Small Business Health Insurance Options Program) Marketplaces will offer Small Businesses a portal through which to shop for health coverage on a competitive marketplace. These marketplaces include web portals that provide standardized, easy-to-understand information, making comparing and purchasing coverage easier for businesses.

The new SHOP Marketplaces will also allow small groups to pool risks and reduce administrative complexity and subsequently increase their purchasing power while reducing costs.

Employer’s Mandate

All that said and done, the Employer’s Mandate has now been pushed back to 2015, so Businesses will not feel the full effects of the Affordable Care Act for at least another 18 months. Instead, the initial Health Care Reform procedure will be regarded as ‘real-world testing’ ahead of full implementation in 2015. This has caused an increased level of doubt among critics and supporters of how Health Care Reform will take full shape, if at all. Businesses are now in a state of concern thanks to mixed messages. While employers may have initially felt relieved that they would have more time to fully prepare for the introduction of the new legislation, President Obama has hinted that fines could swell for Companies that view the Employer Mandate delay as a let-off.

To conclude, this shroud of uncertainty should prompt employers to consult their Insurance Agents about the Affordable Care Act, its provisions and what it means for their business. The facts are there, it is now up to Businesses to assess the situation and consider what the best Insurance option for them instead of treating the Employer’s Mandate delay as a let-off.

If you are unsure of how the Affordable Care Act will affect your Business, or if you’re unsure of what to look for in the SHOP exchanges, speak to an expert directly for free.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wildfire Prevention Checklist

To wrap up National Fire Prevention Week, Texas Associates Insurors has prepared a checklist to help reduce the risk of wildfire to your personal property.  We all know full-well what devastation can be so quickly caused when a fire gets out of control. But WILDFIRE DOESN’T HAVE TO BURN everything in its path. In fact, cleaning your property of debris and maintaining your landscaping are important first steps to helping minimize damage and loss. The work you do today can make a difference. Follow these simple action steps now and throughout the year to prepare and help reduce the risk of your home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:

o Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.

o Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet of the house.

o Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.

o Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.

o Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

o Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

o Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

o Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.

o Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.

o Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.

o Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screen with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,