Wildfire Risk Reduction
Genesee is located in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), by definition a high hazard fire environment. It is not a question of “if” wildfires will occur, but “when” they will occur. There are steps that can be taken before a wildfire occurs that improve the survivability of people and homes.
Studies show that firebrands and embers from wildfires ignite most structures, not the main fire front. Little things and details can determine if your home survives a wildfire – or not. There are a number of steps you can take today to help protect your home and give firefighters the best chance of defending it in the event of wildfire. Below are links to a variety of resources and checklists that will describe how to create defensible space around your home, and information on resources specific to Genesee.
Colorado State Forest Service Guidelines for Creating Private Property Defensible Space. Defensible space is the natural and landscaped area around a home or other structure that has been modified to reduce fire hazard. This guide provides the rationale behind the recommended actions associated with creating defensible space. For checklists of initial and annual defensible space work, see the links below.
- Checklist for Defensible Space: Annual Projects
- Checklist for Defensible Space: Initial Projects
- The ARC and Wildfire Mitigation
Defensible space is sometimes a requirement for getting or maintaining homeowner’s insurance in Genesee. Note: homeowners may receive notice from their insurer that all trees within 30 feet of the home must be removed. Defensible space does not mean clear cutting (see below for before and after pictures of defensible space around Genesee homes). Creating defensible space consistent with the Colorado State Forest Service guidelines, as described in this link, should satisfy the insurer. You will need a certified defensible space consultant to evaluate your property. Genesee Foundation often has cost-share grant money for creating defensible space around homes in Genesee. Once you decide to do such a plan, please notify the ARC (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least 48 hours prior to the professional's site visit. An ARC member will visit your property either before or at the same time as the professional to mark trees that the ARC would like to be able to save. The Genesee Foundation encourages voluntary fire mitigation through the use of fire resistant building materials and the creation of defensible space.
- Before and after photos of private property defensible space work in Genesee
- Resource list of defensible space consultants, tree removal contractors and pine needle/slash collection and removal contractors who work in Genesee.
- Current grant opportunity to offset the cost of private property defensible space work.
House Fires and Safety
Genesee Fire Rescue offers "Safe at Home", a free home safety evaluation. Call the department at 303-526-1230 to schedule a visit.
Believe it or not, it’s often the simplest and most obvious precautions that homeowners tend to forget – and burglars tend to exploit. Maybe you’ve lived on the same street for decades and doubt “It” could ever happen to you. Maybe you’re in a rush and skip the usual routine. Whatever the situation, you should always lock your doors and windows when you go out. And keep close track of spare keys, where they are and/or who has them.
Residential Security Survey – What can you do to increase your home security?
Genesee Foundation has a contract with the Jefferson County Sheriff to provide security services. Off-duty officers in a Jefferson County Sheriff vehicle are in the community for 8-16 hours a day. They enforce traffic laws and can provide more immediate response to crime calls if they are already in the community. In addition, residents can request vacation checks on their residence for up to 52 days/year, or extra Genesee patrol coverage for observation or investigation of unusual or suspicious circumstances, activity, or behavior. Click on the links below for more information and forms
The Genesee Foundation Board of Directors has done several comprehensive surveys of the community on issues related to patrol services in Genesee. Click here to see these surveys and results.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association’s website has good general, and Colorado-specific, information as well as information about various catastrophic events (e.g. hail, wildfire, flood, mudslides, etc). It is very important, when making a claim, that you can document the items of value lost in a catastrophic event. There are now some apps from iTunes and Android for creating a home inventory.
Wildfires are a particular safety and insurance concern in Genesee, a community built in the wildland-urban interface, and located in a high fire danger area (red zone). Many homeowner insurance companies are responding to the wildfire threat by asking customers to share the risk by mitigating fire hazards on their property.
The Colorado Division of Insurance also has Colorado-specific tips on insurance and wildfire
Along with wildfire mitigation, insurance companies also consider other factors such as the type of construction and materials of your home, and the distance to a fire hydrant or fire station. Read your policy and talk to your agent to make sure you have the proper coverage for your property in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Talk to your agent before deciding on additional fire safety measures. Knowing which types of insurance discounts are available will help you get the most fire protection for your money.