OAKLAND, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 8, 2021 / Zesty.ai, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) climate risk analysis, and the Corporate and Household Security Insurance Institute (IBHS) today released new research on how fuel management affects forest fire destruction rates. They found that property owners who remove vegetation from the edge of their home or building can nearly double the chance that their structure will survive a devastating fire.
Zesty.ai, in collaboration with IBHS, examined more than 71,000 properties involved in forest fires between 2016 and 2019 to assess the relationship between vegetation, buildings and property vulnerability. To do this, Zesty.ai used a combination of computer vision and AI to analyze high-resolution satellite and aerial images of the properties that fell within the forest fire range and determine what impact a property’s physical environment had on its likelihood of survival. They found that buildings with a high amount of vegetation within 5 feet of the structure were destroyed in wildfire 78 percent of the time – a rate almost twice that of those with a low amount of vegetation. This pattern was true when Zesty.ai analyzed the other defensible zones that were between 30 and 100 feet around the property.
“It is normal for increased vegetation to increase the risk of forest fires, but this study shows how effective individual measures can be to protect structures. Mitigation measures that can cut the risk almost in half are statistical for anyone involved in the risk significant, “said Attila Toth, CEO of Zesty.ai. “These results also underscore how forest fire research at IBHS and artificial intelligence at Zesty.ai are having real impact at the intersection of homeowners, community leaders, regulators and insurance carriers. These types of collective action will help keep our communities ahead of the EU protect the devastating effects of forest fires, which unfortunately have increased in the last ten years. “
The study also supported and confirmed findings from IBHS ‘Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps published last year that go beyond the ignition zone to describe additional actions required in eight aspects of a home to address a home’s susceptibility to forest fires. The new study by Zesty.ai found that other structures in the immediate vicinity of a property increase the risk of forest fire, especially for properties in areas with moderate to high vegetation cover. Buildings in these areas that had another structure within 30 to 100 feet of the property were destroyed by devastating fire 60 percent of the time, compared to a destruction rate of 31 percent for homes with no other structure in close proximity.
“This study further shows homeowners, community leaders, and policy makers how effective the damage control measures set out in the suburban forest fire adjustment roadmaps can be in protecting homes from forest fires,” said Roy E. Wright, President & Chief Executive Officer at IBHS. “Quantifying the effect of fuel density risk mitigation, one of the critical actions identified in the roadmaps, is a first piece in the larger puzzle of which mitigation groups will most improve the chances of survival in the home and at what level.”
Zesty.ai is uniquely equipped to support this type of research through the proprietary Wildfire Property Loss database developed for Z-FIRE ™, its AI model that generates property-specific predictive risk assessments. Z-FIRE ™ has been trained for more than 1,200 forest fire incidents over several decades and takes into account the property-level factors that contribute to forest fire risk, including defensible space, building materials and roof pitch, which older models do not account for.
Wright added, “While there is no way to eliminate the risk of wildfires, we are not powerless against it. We must take a pragmatic approach to mitigating risk at all levels and ultimately reducing property damage through data and science Working with modeling organizations like Zesty. Ai, advanced technologies like Computer Vision and AI are helping us to better understand the impact of these actions on a larger scale. It’s encouraging to see new advances as early as the first few months of 2021. “
For more information, see the full research report, Wildfire Fuel Management and Risk Mitigation – Where Do I Start? ”. Here. More information about Zesty.ai can be found at www.zesty.ai. More information about IBHS can be found at www.ibhs.org.
About Zesty.ai (www.zesty.ai): Increasingly frequent natural disasters such as forest fires, floods, and hurricanes devastated communities, causing economic losses of $ 2.2 trillion over the past decade. Zesty.ai uses 200 billion data points, including aerial imagery, and artificial intelligence to assess the effects of building-by-building climate change. Zesty.ai has partnered with leading insurance companies and property owners to protect homes and businesses and support thriving communities. Zesty.ai was named the Top 100 Most Innovative AI Companies in the World by CB Insights in 2020 and Gartner Research named Gartner Cool Vendor in Insurance in 2019. More information can be found at: https://www.zesty.ai/
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective scientific research to identify and promote effective measures to empower households, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.
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