• Most common incidents involved mirrors, glass tables and compost bins
• LV= provides top tips to keep fire claims at bay on sunnier days
LV= General Insurance (LV= GI), one of the largest home insurers in the UK, is warning homeowners to keep an eye out for potential summer fire hazards in both their home and garden, following intense heat during the summer months which has been on the rise in recent years. Last year was particularly hot following three heatwaves, and new data shows that fire claims caused by the rays of the sun increased by 233% compared to 2021.
The average cost of these claims was around £34,203, with some homes being completely gutted as a result. Reflected light from the sun can direct rays from magnifying objects onto combustible materials, such as curtains, which can then cause them to catch fire.
Claims which the insurer settled last year that involved reflective materials included:
• A doubled sided mirror left on the windowsill, which scorched the frame, ignited the curtains and caused £11,000 worth of damage.
• A garden mirror reflected the rays of the sun and scorched patio doors, costing £3,000.
• A compost bin set alight in the garden, causing a fire to spread rapidly at the back of the house. The damage cost £42,000 to fix.
• Three pieces of glass on a display stand in a lounge sparked a fire, causing £14,000 worth of damage.
• A fire started in a garden room with a glass topped table, which reflected the sun’s rays. The damage cost £6,500 to repair.
In addition to fires from reflective materials, LV= also saw heath and wildfires rise last year, with homes near open spaces at risk of damage. Hot and dry weather can combine to create the perfect conditions for heath fires which can be started naturally by the sun or even by unwatched BBQs. If BBQs aren’t handled correctly they can quickly become a fire hazard which can put the valuables in your garden at risk.
Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV= General Insurance comments, “As the warmer weather and heatwaves become more frequent, we face an increased risk of home and garden fires, and homeowners should keep an eye out for potential causes. Even the tiniest of things can cause significant damage with claims often running into the thousands, so small checks such as making sure there are no mirrors in the direct line of sunlight will make a huge difference, as many unsuspecting items can create a fire.”
Top tips to protect your home from fires on sunnier days:
• Make sure any mirrors or reflective items aren’t facing the sun or left in a place where the sun can reflect from them onto material objects.
• If needed, when the sun’s rays are intense, keep your curtains closed and blinds down.
• Ensure smoke alarms are fitted and regularly checked.
• Never use a BBQ indoors, on a balcony or in an enclosed space. Position your BBQ on ground level away from anything flammable such as sheds, fences, trees or tents.
• When disposing of your BBQ make sure no coals are glowing, and have fully cooled down before you discard of them. It would only take a tiny spark for a fire to light your bin.
Notes to editors
For further information please contact:
Jessica Norris, Press Officer at LV= General Insurance ([email protected] / 07384 533133)
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1 LV= General Insurance home claims data relating to fire claims between 2021 and 2022.
About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance
- LV= General Insurance provides car, home, pet, travel, landlord, breakdown and home emergency insurance to around 6.5 million customers in the UK.
- We’re the UK’s third largest personal lines insurer with just over £2 billion in annual premium in income.
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