Bonfire night is an event that is enjoyed by many, but there are some hazards that you need to be aware of so that not everything goes off with a bang.
With the 5th of November almost upon us, thoughts of bonfire celebrations can be met with excitement and anxiety. They can be spectacular to see but can also be the cause of property damage. If you are planning a fireworks event at your home, make sure you do your homework and ensure that your property is protected.
What are you covered for?
Fire is one of the standard perils which is covered on a household policy, but when it comes to fireworks are there any exclusions? Your home, outbuildings and contents would be covered by stray fireworks under a fire claim, (unless it was malicious, then it would come under malicious damage), but there may be some exclusions, such as damage to fences or sheds at the property.
Claims may be affected if you used an accelerant like petrol or lighter fluid to light your bonfire, or set off fireworks too close to your property.
It is possible for fireworks to veer off course and cause damage to a neighbouring property. If that does occur and your neighbours were to claim or sue for damages to their property, then you must ensure that you have third party liability cover which is generally covered on your policy. Check your policy to make sure you are covered for this!
Top safety tips
These may sound obvious but sometimes the obvious things are often overlooked.
1. Keep bonfires and fireworks away from trees and buildings
To be honest, unless you have a very big garden, you should probably leave bonfires to the professionals. Bonfire events can be far more spectacular to look at if they are enormous and it also limits the chance of an ember setting fire to your garden shed, fences of trees.
2. What fireworks are correct for home use?
There are different categories of fireworks which are available for the general public to buy - categories 1 to 4. These are fireworks that include ones you can use indoors, in your garden or at a display. Always read the packet carefully and make sure that the fireworks you buy are suitable for the place you are going to set them off. Category 4 is for professional use only.
3. Only buy from reputable sources
Only buy fireworks from a reputable shop to make sure that they conform to British Standards. This means that they should have BS 7114 written on the box. It may be cheaper to buy them from a market but it is more likely that they aren’t from a regulated source.
4. Be safe
It’s no surprise that sparklers are hot, but did you know that three together generate the same heat as a blow torch? Sparklers remain too hot to touch for several minutes after they have gone out and will therefore still cause burns, so dispose of them in a bucket of water or sand. Also make sure that any pets are safe and well away from any of the fireworks. Loud noises can cause them distress so keep they in a room that limits any chance of them hearing the bangs. Also, be aware of any wildlife in the garden. Foxes and hedgehogs may be hiding nearby so check the area thoroughly.
For further information about bonfires or fireworks, visit the fire service website.
Give us a call
Before you set off to buy any fireworks or wood for a bonfire, check your home insurance is valid and covers you for any scenario. If you are due for renewal or would like to purchase home insurance, you can contact our home insurance specialists on 01243 219 333.
PayingTooMuch.com offers policies from all the major insurers including Ageas, Allianz, AXA and Zurich. It only takes ten minutes to complete a quote based on your personal circumstances, either online or over the telephone, so make a quick phone call today to see how much you can save.