Published: 21/07/2020 By Musgrove & Co

We are fortunate enough to have had countless hot days whilst millions of us are in lockdown. House owners must take extra care after reports of an increase in house fires.

Life under lockdown has seen a 91% increase in fires between March and May. This according to Lloyds Bank Home Insurance records. On top of this, there is also a 10% increase in fire claims between spring 2019 and 2020.


1: Be careful while cooking outdoors

There is nothing better than a barbecue on a sunny day, but cooking outside can increase the risk of fire. Make sure that there are no overhauling branches or nearby fences before you start your barbecue. Also, you should ensure that the barbecue is securely placed on a flat surface.

2: Take care of outdoor flames

Fire pits and outdoor candles can create an attractive atmosphere when you spend time outdoors. However, they can also be a fire hazard. You should ensure you have fire pits installed on stable surfaces. You should also avoid use during windy conditions. Use safety screens when properly extinguishing fire pits and outdoor candles.

3: Carefully store barbecues

Embers may remain after use if not extinguished properly and potential fire may occur. Therefore, you must keep a close watch on the barbecue for a few hours after cooking. Be sure to extinguish the barbecue completely before storing it.

4: Do not charge phones, laptops, and other electronic devices near soft furnishings

Devices and switches can become hot in warmer months, especially if charging under pillows or cushions. Pay attention while charging the phone.

5: Beware of mirrors

On sunny days, sunlight shining on mirrors or glass ornaments can be reflected in soft furnishings. This increases the risk of fire. Keep mirrors and glass ornaments away from windows.

6: Take care of the tumble dryer

Remove the lint from the tumble dryer after every load of clothes that you dry. You should also avoid covering vents or openings on the machine. It is important to clean the machine frequently and never use them while sleeping or while away from your home.

7: Have your air conditioner inspected

Dirty coils, clogged filters and worn wiring can all lead to fires as dust builds up in the air conditioning system. Regular maintenance of the cooling system can help prevent fires. Keep the air conditioner off when you are out of the house.

8: Insurance Details

Make sure that you have the details of your insurer available in the events of a worst-case scenario.

Lloyds Bank Home Insurance senior claims manager Tim Downs said: "With more time spent at home in the country, the risk of accidents including house fires increases.

"Many of us already know that it's important to take care of things like barbecues and candles, but homeowners also need to take care of less obvious things.

"The positive side of more of us being at home means that, should a fire happen, it is more likely to be out quickly. Following some of our top tips will hopefully help homeowners stay safe in the home."