Offaly homeowners warned of fire risk ahead of Christmas

Take these top tips on board

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Offaly homeowners warned of fire risk ahead of Christmas

Offaly homeowners warned of fire risk ahead of Christmas

The majority of people in Leinster (83%) will deck their homes out in festive decorations this Christmas with 14% planning to go all out with both indoor and outdoor lights and decorations.

However, despite the great efforts that people in Offaly and across Leinster go to in preparing their homes for Christmas, most (58%) will take no steps to protect their home against season-related risks, such as chimney fires, electrical faults or boiler breakdown, in advance. That’s according to Aviva Home Insurance, who released the findings of their latest research today.

The research, which was carried out by RED C on behalf of Aviva, found that paying for everything is the number one concern for 48% of people in Leinster at Christmas. Other key concerns include pipes freezing (25%); power cuts (20%); boiler breakdown (17%); fights with family (14%); and Christmas tree going on fire (9%).

Speaking about the findings, Cathy Herbert, from Aviva Home Insurance, said: “Christmas is a really important and special time for families in Offaly and throughout Ireland and spending time at home with loved ones is a top priority, with the vast majority (89%) of people in Leinster planning to spend Christmas either in their own home or in their family or partners’ family home."

“With less than five weeks to go, Christmas shopping is in full swing and some homes even have their Christmas decorations up already. While it’s a very exciting time, homes are often at greater risk of damage at this time of year, due to extreme weather conditions and hazardous decorations, so it’s important for people to factor that into their Christmas preparation to ensure their home is well protected in advance.

“Similarly, homes may contain more valuables than usual at Christmas time, putting them at greater risk of being broken into. Luckily the people of Leinster are very security conscious with 89% saying they lock up when leaving the house. In fact, home owners in Leinster are far more likely than their Munster counterparts to put on the alarm (42% v 29%) and set lights on timers when going out (30% v 19%).

"These simple steps can be highly effective so we would remind people to be extra vigilant when going out at this time of year, to ensure their homes are protected, so they can focus on having a safe and happy Christmas at home with their families.," she added.

Top tips to protect your home this Christmas:

1.       Avoid a chimney fire by having your chimney swept before the cold weather sets in

2.       Have your boiler serviced before the festive season arrives, to prevent a boiler breakdown when you need it most during the cold weather and protect against carbon monoxide poisoning

3.       Develop a safety-check routine to ensure all windows and doors are locked, and alarm is turned on before leaving the house

4.       Don’t over-load electrical sockets with Christmas lights and decorations to avoid electrical fires

5.       If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time over the Christmas break, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to check on the house, take in post etc.

6.       If you are going away, make sure not to announce it on your social media profiles, as burglars could potentially be monitoring this

7.       When you go out shopping or socialising over the holidays, try and give the impression that someone is home by leaving a radio or TV on or setting lights on timers

8.       Make sure to turn off all Christmas tree lights and blow out any candles when leaving the house or going to bed, to avoid risking a house fire

9.       Don’t leave Christmas gifts in plain sight of windows and potentially in view of burglars, keep them hidden away as long as possible

10.   Check your home insurance policy to make sure Christmas gifts are covered in the unlucky event of a burglary. Aviva Home Insurance will automatically increase your contents cover by 10% for the month of December

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