Insurer urges residents to take care if hosting Bonfire Night at home


Aviva data shows home fire claims surge around November 5th. (Credit: Aviva)

As lockdown restrictions curb community events, Aviva is urging caution for households who plan to celebrate Bonfire Night at home.

Data from the insurer shows fire claims increased by two thirds (66%*) between 5th and 7th November last year, compared to the rest of the month. In 2018, the increase was even more remarkable on November 5th, with claims increasing by 150%, compared to the rest of the month.

Claims during this period included damage to fences, sheds and garages caused by out-of-control bonfires. Fireworks were also responsible for burning trampolines, artificial grass and in some cases, interiors of homes, when fireworks crashed through windows or were put through letterboxes maliciously. In one incident, a very loud firework cause a patio door pane to crack by the noise alone.

Earlier this year, Aviva saw an increase in fire claims during lockdown, as people burnt rubbish at their homes when refuse sites were closed. Home barbecues were also the cause of some 2020 blazes.

Sarah Applegate, Strategy and Insight Lead, Global GI, Aviva says: “With community bonfires off the agenda this year, many households may be planning to enjoy bonfires and displays at home. We appreciate that families want to celebrate, particularly after such a challenging year, but we’d encourage people to take even more care than usual, as so many individual fires and firework displays may be happening at the same time.

“Our records show that we tend to see an increase of home insurance claims for fire damage at the start of November.

“And it’s not just during the bonfires or firework displays where the risk lies. A number of claimants report disposing of ashes, only to find they were still hot enough to burn through bins or refuse piles.

“We also see quite a few claims where sparks have flown into neighbouring properties and gardens, so be sure to keep a watch on any stray embers. If people are planning to have a bonfire or fireworks, we’d urge them to do it with caution and stay on their guard.”

Source: Company Press Release