Fireplace harm home insurance claims are anticipated to peak in December – your cash – your cash

LV predicted an increase in residential fire-related accidents after fireplace claims rose 125% last December compared to 2019.

With gas costs soaring, the insurer expects fire accidents to rise again this winter as consumers look for an alternative way to heat their home.

LV says fire damage from open fires is most likely to happen in December as families try to bring a festive mood and warmth into their living rooms.

With many families in their own four walls, the number of accidents reached their highest level in five years at Christmas last year. Open fires accounted for 36% of all fire damage in December 2020, compared to just 13% in 2019.

On average, fire damage claims caused by an open fire cost around £ 10,000, and in the past few weeks alone LV has received 12 open fire claims. These ranged in severity from a blockage in the chimney of a log burner or the ignition of soot and tar deposits inside the chimney to hot coal falling out of a log burner.

Not only open fire can lead to fire incidents, but also electrical heating. These can cause serious fires if they are placed too close to flammable materials and left unattended, or if the heater is old, defective or has been switched on for a long time.

Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV, said, “As nights fall and temperatures drop, many of us will want to heat our homes to stay warm. This year, given concerns about higher energy prices, even more people could be persuaded to snuggle up around an open fire or use an electric heater to keep warm. Just be careful not to leave anything unattended as fires can get out of control very quickly and can have devastating effects on people's lives and homes. We really want to make sure everyone stays safe this winter, and maintaining a fireplace at home is important. "

How to protect your fireplace

* Keep chimneys and chimneys in good condition. Before you start your fire, have your chimney cleaned and inspected to make sure it is in good condition.

* When putting a chimney back into operation, get professional advice and contact a qualified HETAS installer – he will check the chimney for suitability and be insured in the event of damage.

* Use the correct fuel. Use dry wood with a moisture content of less than 20% and be careful not to overload your rust.

* Always use fire protection. If you have children or pets, additional safety protection is also recommended.

* Avoid cluttering the area. Make sure your fireplace doesn't have any elaborate decorations in case they catch fire. It is also important not to dry or air clothes near the fire.

* Before you go to bed or go out, check the fireplace and make sure the embers are properly extinguished.

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