General Insurance Article - Millions face fire risk sleeping with Christmas lights on


According to new research from Zurich UK over three million households leave their Christmas tree lights on all the time, or overnight, potentially putting their homes at risk of fire,

 Unsafe electrical decorations, poor quality lights, overloaded plugs, and dried out trees are all potential hazards which could lead to a fire. Analysis of Zurich’s data shows fire-related claims spike in December when compared to the monthly average, and while candles are the main cause of fires during the festive period[3], this is closely followed by electrical appliances and wiring. 

 As millions of families get into the festive spirit, three quarters (77%) of Brits will illuminate their Christmas tree with electric lights. Two fifths (39%) put up decorative lights around the house, while a fifth (21%) use fairy lights to decorate the outside of their homes.

 However, people could unknowingly be putting their households at risk. As many as 6% of people leave their Christmas tree lights on permanently, not turning them off until they take them down, and a further 6% leave them on overnight - only turning them off when the house is empty.

 Phil Ost, home insurance expert, Zurich, comments: “Christmas is a time for celebrating and decorations are a central part of that. However, while Christmas tree lights add festive sparkle, they can also be dangerous if a few very simple checks are overlooked. Poor quality lights, overloaded electrical sockets and lights left on overnight, or while you’re out of the house, can put your home at risk. To reduce the possibility of a Christmas tree fire, make sure you turn off your Christmas lights when you are out, or overnight, keep your tree away from any heat sources and ensure it is properly watered so not to dry out. Simple actions like these will help make sure the only flame during the season is on your Christmas pudding.”

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