Top Technologies and Innovative Ideas that can prevent wildfires

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The state of California has suffered some of the most expensive and destructive wildfires in history. Insured losses from the fires during November 2018 cost about 18 billion dollars. The Camp Fires, dubbed as the most destructive fire in California’s history, killed 85 people, and destroyed 18,793 structures. 

As these massive wildfires become a yearly routine in California, newer technologies are emerging, which, if implemented, could go a long way in reducing the impact of wildfires. Some of them include.

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  • Cyberinfrastructure systems that predict a wildfire’s path in real-time: This technology uses Artificial Intelligence to collect data from hundreds of satellite imagery and weather stations to predict the path of a wildfire in real-time. California fire departments are currently using this technology.

  • Technology providing real-time hazard and positioning information to firefighters: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning provides real-time hazard information to firefighters. NASA’s AUDREY system is currently using this method.

  • A network of high definition cameras to predict and stop wildfire: Mountaintop high definition cameras capture evidence of dangerous situations while Artificial Intelligence uses Algorithms to turn off damaged or broken power lines before they hit the ground and cause a fire. These cameras can also detect early signs of smoke.

  • High-resolution maps: High-resolution maps can pinpoint where there is a high probability of a wildfire starting and the path it could take. These maps can also predict how destructive the fires are going to be, and this technology can help officials set up emergency protocols before a fire begins either to prevent it or to reduce its impact.

Homeowners can ensure higher protection for their homes using the following methods according to the Insurance Information Institute (iii) as shown in the infographic below: 

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10 Top Innovative Techniques to Protect your Home from Wildfires

  • Ember Resistant Vent: Embers are one of the biggest causes of houses catching fires. Embers can travel up to 10 miles from the source of a wildfire. Ember resistant vents prevent the house from catching fire due to ember intrusions.

  • Fire Proof Window Shades: Such windows can resist radiant heat up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and protect the house from heat, fires, and embers. 

  • Customized Fire Covers: These covers can be used to protect personal items, such as vehicles from fires and embers

  • Fire Detection Cameras: These cameras can detect fires within a 10-mile radius and can alert the homeowner in advance.

  • Foam Spraying Systems: These systems can be installed on the roof and other areas to release a biodegradable foam that douses wildfires.

  • Exterior Sprinkler Systems: Sprinkler systems are extremely effective in putting out fires and protecting the property.

  • Fire Resistant Roofs: Such roofs will be able to resist heat up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and provide protection for the home.

Homeowners who install such features might also be eligible for multiple home insurance discounts offered by home insurance companies.