The Insurance Institute for Business and amp; Home Safety (IBHS) has announced its new augmented reality mobile device application called Wildfire Ready Virtual. The device application aims to bring homeowners inside the risk of wildfire and demonstrate the value of wildfire mitigation actions.
The app launched as a part of May’s Wildfire Awareness Month is available for free on Apple and Android devices and easy to download for users. The app has built a new way to bring to life the critical actions required to build a wildfire-resistant home. The app recently called for the Institute’s Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps and consumer-facing Wildfire Ready guide.
Creating an experience of pioneering wildfire science of IBHS, the virtual app lets homeowners feel the impact of basic, do-it-yourself wildfire mitigation actions once they see embers shower in suburban neighborhoods.
As soon as the app starts, a short survey is displayed that briefs about the home’s vulnerability before starting the user’s augmented reality experience. It basically demonstrates the importance of the 0–5 foot home ignition zone, the roof, fences, decks, and vents in reducing wildfire risks.
“While driving down the wildfire risk plaguing western communities will require collective action from individual homeowners, entire neighborhoods, and community leaders, homeowners should know simple tasks can make a substantial difference. Wildfire Ready Virtual turns top-tier science into an engaging and fun educational tool,” says IBHS President and CEO Roy Wright.
Last summer (in 2020), IBHS introduced the Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps and Wildfire Ready guide. It helped draw a limit around the starting line and outline every homeowner’s critical activity for prioritizing the road to wildfire resilience.
The Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps give detail on wildfire vulnerabilities unique to the suburban landscape where wildfires often turn out to be disastrous.
“Up to 90 percent of homes in a wildfire are ignited by embers, and Wildfire Ready Virtual demonstrates that risk,” explains Daniel Gorham, IBHS Research Engineer and a Firefighter. “A home is a system. One element may be wildfire-resistant while another remains vulnerable. While we can’t eliminate wildfire risk entirely, these critical actions that can be mitigated in a weekend appreciably bring down the risk.”
Moreover, for additional mitigation recommendations after exploring the virtual mitigation actions, users for more information can take help of Wildfire Ready guide and also could share the application via using social media platform.
“We need everyone on the path to wildfire resilience to drive down the risk, and Wildfire Ready Virtual will help homeowners understand the specific actions to take to reduce their vulnerability to embers,” adds Wright.
The Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps gave the first detailed look at wildfire vulnerabilities in the closely-built suburban neighborhoods. At this juncture, traditional wildland-urban interface guidance did not mention the real-world complexities of these communities. The Roadmaps were used to create the Wildfire Ready guide, which contains four action groups for homeowners.