Stay safe this Christmas with Policy Expert

Let’s face it, a combination of open fires, fairy lights, fir trees and wrapping paper, not to mention boozy people, candles_small
wouldn’t ordinarily pass a health and safety test.

Risk of fire increases hugely at Christmas

The risk of fire in the home increases hugely at Christmas; insurance firm Aviva recently showed that claims for fire damage went up by a whopping 120% on the 25th December compared with the average day.

And latest research from the insurer Policy Expert helps explain why.

Candles and open fires are major contributors

Candles are a major contributory factor to festive fires, with their lethal combination of naked flame and molten wax. Policy Expert’s statistics show that over a third of households (36%) use candles during the festive holidays.

Sparks from open fires and wood burning stoves are another reason homes go up in smoke. And with one in five (20%) lighting one up at Christmas, it’s easy to understand why.

Fairy lights are pretty… and pretty dangerous

Another danger is the effect of the exposed bulbs on fairy lights and other indoor lighting on decorations and drying fir needles. Policy Experts research reveals that three quarters of homes (75%) have this type of lighting in the house over the festive period.

One in ten leaves decorative lights unattended

One of the cardinal sins of home safety is to leave decorative lights on and unattended. But from the statistics, it seems that one in ten (10%) do so when they’re out of the home or asleep.

Fire safety tips at Christmas

A home doesn’t have to become a tinder box at Christmas. Here are some practical measures to help protect the home from fire:

  • Candles – It sounds obvious, but don’t leave candles burning unattended, always place them on a heat resistant surface and keep away from kids and decorations.
  • Tree lights – Only buy lighting which meets the British Safety Standard. Don’t leave tree lights on when you’re out or asleep.
  • Open fires – Always have safety guards in front of fires if you’re out of the room, never leave them lit if you leave the house and keep all discarded wrapping and boxes well away.
  • Christmas trees – Make sure trees are firmly secured in an upright position away from the open flames of fires and candles.
  • Electric sockets – Electric adaptor plugs and extension cables can overload and cause sparks. Turn them off when not in use.
  • Smoke detectors – It’s sensible to have smoke detectors in key rooms, such as kitchens, hallways and bedrooms.
  • In the event of a fire – Don’t hang around trying to retrieve valuables; get out and stay out.
  • Cooking – Don’t leave anything cooking while you’re out of the house or asleep.
  • Route of escape – Make sure everyone in the household knows what to do in the event of a fire and the best exit routes.

Policy Expert

As an online insurer, Policy Expert help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information on Home Insurance from Policy Expert, speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or email

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