Home working fire risks | Wilson Organisation


September 3, 2021

Home working fire risks

Home working fire risks

Pizza ovens, fire pits and BBQs were incredibly popular purchases or projects during lockdown, as was the rise in working from home in a ‘shoffice’ – which resulted in an increased chance of fire.

A major insurer warned that outbuilding fires – in sheds, garages and conservatories – rose by 16% last year compared with 2019. The popularity of conversions to home offices, gyms and social spaces increased the fire risk. Three-quarters of areas in the UK recorded more fires, the data shows.

Phil Ost, from insurer Zurich, said: “Aside from storing gardening tools, our sheds and garages have become a haven to escape the stresses of family life and for others, a place to work. But as they take refuge in their garden sheds and garages, it appears to have sparked a rise in accidental blazes.”

Another survey by insurer Aviva, suggested that one in 10 of those asked worked from a converted shed, garage or summerhouse – a proportion expected to rise to 13%. The popularity of ‘shoffices’ (shed offices) has risen, with some people investing in bespoke garden rooms with all the luxury of home.

However, analysts said some people risked invalidating their insurance, or any subsequent claim, if they don’t inform their insurer about any changes to their property, especially if it’s new purpose increases risks. There is also the risk that expensive equipment in less secure locations, such as laptops left in an unsecure shed, may not be covered if it’s stolen or damaged.

Pizza ovens and fire pits only add to the existing fire risks created in gardens by mowers, barbecues, and paint thinners. As the good weather ends, those still working in the shed or garden room may increase the risk even further with the use of patio or bar heaters.

Zurich collected data from UK fire authorities highlighted that there were 3,681 residential outbuilding fires recorded in 2020, compared with 3,170 the year before.

Whilst insurers appreciate the changes we’ve all had to make to our working environments and our lifestyles since March 2020, there has now been sufficient opportunity to reflect any changes at renewal, or notify your insurer of any changes to your property, contents limits. If you haven’t, act now or any claims you need to make may be rejected in future. ALWAYS keep your insuranc details up-to-date.

If you need any help or advice arranging your home insurance, contact our Private Client Team on 0115 942 0111 or email info@wilorg.com – we’re always here to help.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)