Heat the person, not the entire house. That’s the advice of TV moneysaving expert Martin Lewis and he is right of course, it saves you quite a bit over the colder months. But insurers may well see a spike in fire damage claims as householders forget to unplug electric blankets, switch off portable heaters, or buy cheap heating gadgets online.
Consumer website Which? noted just a few weeks ago that some cheap plug-in heater devices were poorly made, with non compliant wiring and connections. Electric blankets are also very useful and can be used to cover up on the sofa in the evenings, rather than switch on the heating system. But as Somerset Live reported recently, they can catch fire if worn out, wires are crushed, or washed and then used before drying out properly.
It’s never a good idea to leave an electric blanket on for several hours, especially if you are partially lying on a section of it and crushing the wires inside it.
Working from home has also become the default admin job setting for many public sector bodies, or call centre operations, which is bound to lead to more people attempting to stay warm on a budget, as they work from a laptop or home PC.
Insurance brands can offer householders useful advice on safe use of blankets and portable heating devices, plus smart home tech like smoke sensors, temperature sensors and CCTV systems can all help detect a problem before it becomes serious.
Sedgwick has revealed that the year-to-date fire claims identified as being caused by electric heaters and blankets have proportionally increased. These claims account for 2.7% of all fire claims, more than double the amount of fire claims caused by electric heaters and blankets compared to 1% from 2021-2022.
Susan Sansom, director, project managed adjusting at Sedgwick comments:
“Fire safety cautions have been put in place since the start of winter last year as soaring energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis are leading to a surge in the popularity of electric heaters and blankets. As snow and ice warnings are in force for London as well as other parts of the UK, we’re likely to see an increased trend in fire claims caused by the use of alternative heating.”
More at; www.Sedgwick.com