US insurance sector turns to AR to provide do-it-yourself wildfire mitigation tips - Main

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Wildfire Ready Virtual turns top-tier science into an engaging and fun educational tool

Quick read

➨ The augmented reality-powered mobile app enables homeowners to see the impact of basic, do-it-yourself wildfire mitigation actions
➨ It begins with a short survey to help users understand their home’s vulnerability before bringing them into the augmented reality experience to demonstrate the importance of pre-emptive actions
➨ It is available to download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play now

The story

The US insurance sector is turning to augmented reality technology to help educate homeowners about the risk of wildfires. Wildfire Ready Virtual, from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), is available to download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play now.

The augmented reality-powered mobile app enables homeowners to see the impact of basic, do-it-yourself wildfire mitigation actions when embers shower suburban neighbourhoods.

The app begins with a short survey to help users understand their home’s vulnerability before bringing them into the augmented reality experience to demonstrate the importance of the 0-5-ft home ignition zone, roof, decks, fences, and vents in reducing wildfire risks.

US insurance sector turns to AR to provide do-it-yourself wildfire mitigation tips - Screenshot
Wildfire Ready Virtual is available to download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play now

IBHS, whose members account for significant proportions of residential and commercial property insurance sold in the US, launched the app to coincide with May’s Wildfire Awareness Month and support the dissemination of recommendations described in its Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps and consumer-facing Wildfire Ready guide.

“Up to 90 percent of homes in a wildfire are ignited by embers and Wildfire Ready Virtual demonstrates that risk,” explains Daniel Gorham, an 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.”

IBHS president and chief executive officer Roy Wright comments: “While driving down the wildfire risk plaguing western communities will require collective action from individual homeowners, entire neighbourhoods, 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.”

He adds: “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.”

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Images: IBHS

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