As the state’s hot, dry, windy weather continues to fuel wildfires, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak urges residents to protect their families, homes and property.
“Firefighters battled wildfires all weekend and there is no end in sight,” Doak said. “Oklahomans need to check their home insurance policies, be aware of burn bans and do all they can to prevent wildfires.”
High winds and dry conditions can set the stage for potentially severe fires, but human error is often to blame. The biggest problem is burning debris that sends sparks and embers into the air. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management offers these tips to avoid sparking a fire.
• Be careful when pulling off a road or driving into a field. Hot catalytic converters can ignite grass and plants.
• Avoid burning trash.
• If you smoke in your car, exstinguish cigarettes in vehicle ashtray. Never toss a cigarette out of a car window, and don’t put cigarettes out on the ground.
• Keep a fire exstinguisher and water handy when working outdoors with equipment that gets hot, or involves sparks, such as welding equipment. Water down outdoor work areas in advance.
If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Choose a route away from the wildfire and be alert to changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
“The wildfires are a good reminder of the importance of an accurate home inventory list,” said Doak.
A home inventory checklist can be found at www.oid.ok.gov. If you have suffered losses to a wildfire or have any other insurance-related questions, call Consumer Assistance at 1-800-522-0071.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.