Firewise and USAA team up on program to help protect New Mexico and Utah neighborhoods

FirewisebannerJanuary 10, 2017  USAA policyholders living in recognized Firewise Communities/USA® sites in New Mexico and Utah can now receive discounts on their homeowners insurance premiums. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Firewise Communities/USA® Recognition Program provided the community action framework and local data that supported USAA’s decision to offer such a discount to its policyholders. 

USAA, which provides a full range of financial products and services to the military community and their families, has been working with NFPA’s Wildfire Division over the last few years to develop incentives for residents of wildfire-prone areas to take steps to create safer communities. USAA members in Firewise communities in New Mexico and Utah join their counterparts in California, Colorado, Texas, Oregon and Arizona in being offered the Firewise discount.

“USAA recognizes that reducing wildfire losses is not just about a single home in a neighborhood,” said Cathy Prudhomme, manager of NFPA’s Firewise Communities/USA program. “When an entire neighborhood or community takes collective action, everyone benefits by reducing the threat of a wildfire. Firewise Communities/USA is focused on community-wide behavior change over time that helps protect lives and property when community members follow the steps outlined in the program.”

NFPA launched its voluntary Firewise program in 2002, enlisting the technical assistance of state forestry officials across the nation to reach out to residents and assist in community risk evaluations. As part of the recognition process, residents are asked to come together to address the findings from these evaluations using a long-term plan and holding annual public events, as well as documenting a minimum amount of investment in wildfire safety actions each year.

“Losses from wildfire are something you can help prevent; homeowners can take preventative steps and assist firefighters in protecting their homes and mitigating damage,” said Tom Woods, assistant vice president of underwriting programs and prevention and safety at USAA. “However, wildfire prevention is a team effort. When a community bands together and takes steps to prevent damage from wildfire, everyone in that community benefits. We believe the Firewise discount is an added incentive for our members to get involved and help rally their communities to develop wildfire mitigation plans.”

Currently more than 1,388 communities in 41 states are participating in the Firewise program. In New Mexico, there are now 24 active Firewise communities. In Utah, there are 26 active Firewise communities. In the past year these participating New Mexico and Utah communities invested more than $2.7 million combined in Firewise risk reduction actions. 

To find out more about the USAA policyholder discount for Firewise community residents, please visit NFPA’s Firewise website 

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resource, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275