Insurance companies across the UK have been issuing details regarding fire and theft claims over the Christmas period from their previous years’ data.

It is very clear from the statistics that fire claims significantly increase over Christmas, while Christmas Day shows the lowest number of theft claims in the year!

Christmas Day brings theft claims 80% lower than an average day according to Aviva.  Although 21% of households plan to go away over the Christmas holidays, many homes are full of people, discouraging burglars to try to target homes on Christmas Day.  However, expensive tech gifts are still high on burglars’ lists, with laptops, TVs, tablets and iPhones being the most stolen items.  Be sensible when storing these gifts as not to attract burglaries, particularly when disposing of branded boxes after the big day – don’t be advertising the new contents of your home!

Theft claims may be down on Christmas Day, but fire claims rise dramatically! Churchill insurance have discovered fire claims on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are three times higher than the rest of the year!  There is even an increase of 26% across the whole of December.  This puts an extra importance on fire safety in the home.

The top causes for fire incidents at Christmas are:

  • Cooking fires – deep fat fryers and pans being left on hobs are a big fire risk at Christmas.  With kitchens working overtime, lots of family pitching in and perhaps having a little tipple through the day all contribute to not taking as much care as usual in the kitchen.
  • Electrical fires – faulty Christmas lights, overloaded sockets and the misuse of new electrical gifts could all cause a fire to break out.
  • Decorations – Christmas cards and paper decorations coming too close to heaters and lights can be extremely flammable.
  • Candles and open fires – candles are very popular around Christmas, but sometimes they are put too close to decorations or foliage.  Open fires can also be a danger if not attended at all times.
  • Smoking indoors at parties – lit or smoldering cigarettes are often forgotten about at parties and could cause a fire to break out.

In order to cut down this massive increase in fire incidents this Christmas, remember to test your smoke alarm is in working order.  It is also advisable to have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket on hand.

  • Never leave candles or open fires unattended, and remember to use a fire guard to prevent any sparks from entering the room.
  • Take care in the kitchen, do not leave any hobs or fryers unattended and remember to switch these off when they are finished with.  It may also be best to avoid using these hot appliances later in the evening after a few drinks – stick to the sandwiches and cheeses…
  • Be aware of wrapping paper, cards and decorations getting too close to fires or candles.  Try to collect these out of the way to prevent accidents.
  • Before leaving the house or going to bed, do a check of each room to make sure all Christmas lights are switched off, all candles and fires are properly extinguished and all cigarettes have been properly disposed of.

If we all keep these tips in mind, hopefully these statistics will drop and less accidents will be caused over Christmas Day.  Keep your day safe and enjoyable – have that fire blanket ready when flambeing the Christmas pudding!