Bonfire Night is a much loved tradition that brings people together for a night of fireworks, bonfires and festivities. While it’s a time of great fun, it’s essential to prioritise safety to make sure everyone has a memorable experience – and you don’t end up with an insurance claim!
Claims data from insurer Aviva shows an increase in claims for fire damage from bonfires, fireworks and sparklers and in 2022 home insurance claims increased by 300% compared to October.
Bonfire Night claims are wide-ranging, from fire damage to a shed containing expensive tools caused by an unattended bonfire, damage to classic cars from bonfire embers, to a major fire damage to a property after a firework hit the roof. The latter claim amounted to a staggering £234,000, in addition to the emotional distress suffered by the home owner.
Insurance claims are not limited to outside the home, or related to fire damage. Aviva’s data revealed a number of claims where pet dogs or cats were spooked by fireworks, resulting in smashed TVs and laptops.
Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind this Bonfire Night:
1. Bonfire & Firework Safety: Select a location that is away from buildings, trees, and other flammable materials. If you plan to set off fireworks, follow the instructions carefully and keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby for emergencies. Never relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks and give plenty of time before you soak them in water to ensure they are completely extinguished.
2. Keep People Safe: Ensure that family and friends maintain a safe distance from fireworks, bonfires, and any other open flames. If children are attending, always have a responsible adult supervising them. Keep sparklers and other fireworks out of reach of children.
3. Alcohol and Fireworks Don’t Mix: Avoid alcohol consumption if you’re planning to set off fireworks. Alcohol impairs judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents.
4. Pets: Bonfire Night can be distressing for pets due to the loud noises. Keep them indoors in a quiet, secure place to prevent them from running away or becoming anxious. Many pet insurers have advice on their websites and if you have concerns, contact your own vet for advice.
5. Emergency Contacts: Have important numbers on hand, such as the local fire department and emergency services, in case of any accidents or emergencies.
We hope you enjoy a fantastic Bonfire Night while minimising the risks associated with fireworks and open flames. Prioritising safety ensures that this will be a memorable night for you, your family and friends.