Insurance claims for garden fires have spiked

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Whether it’s an increase in BBQs or people burning excess waste in lieu of bin collections, there have been far more insurance claims for fires since the UK went into lockdown

Garden-related fires accounted for two-fifths of all fire claims since the end of March, according to research by Admiral.

The insurance business added that garden fire claims have trebled compared to the same period in 2018.

David Fowkes, head of household underwriting at Admiral, said: “With all the good weather we’ve had in recent weeks, there’s been an increase in the number of barbecue related incidents. Even more concerning though, is the rise in claims relating to bonfires where they haven’t been controlled, extinguished properly or started too close to other buildings or fences.

“We think this is down to some people being tempted to burn their garden waste or rubbish because some council waste collections have been disrupted and many tips across the UK are closed. In these cases, it’s all too easy for the wrong items to end up on a bonfire which can cause plumes of acrid smoke or toxic chemicals being released and even explosions.

“The last thing anyone wants to do is put any unnecessary pressure on our emergency services right now, but unfortunately fires can and do get out of control. If you’re planning a barbecue or bonfire this bank holiday, take extra care and think twice about your own safety and the safety of those around you.”

Top fire safety tips

Admiral has published a range of tips for households to stay safe if are having a bonfire or barbecue in your garden this weekend:

  • Make sure your bonfire is well away from buildings, bushes and fences
  • Never pour flammable liquid onto a fire
  • Never burn aerosol cans, batteries, paint tins or furniture containing foam
  • Never leave a fire unattended and pour plenty of water on it when you’ve finished
  • Make sure your barbecue is in good working order and secure on a flat surface
  • Keep children and animals well away from your barbecue
  • Use proper firelights or start fuel on cold charcoal and never petrol
  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin, they could cause a fire.