Sunny skies and warmer weather are a much welcome change to the dreary weather we’ve had recently. The excitement of getting out the BBQ and spending some quality time with family and friends is all we can think about (as well as an impromptu trip to the beach for a paddle in the sea!) whilst enjoying a well-deserved rest.
We’re urging your clients to keep an eye out for some potential fire hazards during the summer months in their home and gardens.
We’ve found there’s been a significant increase in the number of fire claims caused by the rays of the sun, a whopping 233% more, compared to 2021 - the average cost of these claims is around £34,203, with some homes being completely gutted too!
Here comes the sun
We found that reflected light from the sun can direct rays from magnifying objects, like mirrors and glass, onto combustible materials, like curtains, which can cause them to catch fire. Looking at claims we settled last year that involved reflective materials, its not a good day for sunshine with these costs:
- A doubled sided mirror left on the windowsill, which scorched the frame, ignited the curtains causing £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
With the increase in hot and dry weather we saw a rise in heath and wildfires last year too, with homes near open spaces being at risk of damage with these combined conditions. Heath fires can be started naturally by the sun or even by unwatched BBQs, so if BBQs aren’t handled correctly they can quickly become a fire hazard, which can put the valuables in your client’s gardens at risk.
Check out our top tips for your clients to protect their 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 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 BBQ’s on ground level away from anything flammable such as sheds, fences, trees or tents.
- When disposing of BBQ’s make sure no coals are glowing and have fully cooled down before being discarded. It would only take a tiny spark for a fire to light a bin.