Bonfire night

November is one of the least likely months to have a household fire

November is one of the least likely months to have a household fire

November is one of the least likely months to have a household fire

The fifth of November is traditionally a night of fun and mischief. But despite the fiery and explosive nature of Bonfire Night, AA Insurance data* reveals that November is actually one of the least likely months of the year to have a household fire.

In 2013, just 5% of home fire claims were reported in November. That’s compared to a high of 15% in July.

Out of every day of the year, we’d probably think Bonfire Night is the most likely day that fireworks are used carelessly or small bonfires get out of hand. But our data shows that’s not usually the case

Janet Connor, Managing Director of AA Insurance

Janet Connor, Managing Director of AA Insurance said: “Out of every day of the year, we’d probably think Bonfire Night is the most likely day that fireworks are used carelessly or small bonfires get out of hand.

“But our data shows that’s not usually the case. We actually see more claims for fire damage during the summer. We assume that’s down to misuse of barbecues: good weather and a few beers seem to be more conducive to a fiery mishap than sparklers on a soggy November evening.

“I also believe that most people prefer to go to an organised display that will be much better value for money, likely to be in aid of local charities and certainly more spectacular than any home-organised firework party. "

Home displays

Follow our tips if you decide to have an amateur display at home:

  • Make sure you read the fireworks’ instructions carefully
  • Only use fireworks that are marked to BS 7114
  • Never try to start a bonfire using petrol or another accelerant
  • Build a bonfire away from anything which could catch fire such as a shed or hedge
  • Don’t throw spent fireworks on to the bonfire as they may still have some unexpected explosive life left in them

Theft

Though the AA receives relatively few household fire damage claims, there is a slight increase in claims for theft during November. In November 2013 18% of home claims were for theft, compared to an average of 16% for the whole year.

If there’s a local firework display on and your lights are off, an opportunistic burglar might suspect that’s where you are so try to make your house look occupied if you can – perhaps leave a couple of lights on and don’t forget to lock up both your windows and doors.

The good news is that fire and theft are generally covered as standard on home insurance policies.

Fire claims

Overall, the number of fire claims reduced by a huge 79% between 2010 and 2014.

Year Proportion of fire claims that occurred in November
2013 5%
2012 6%
2011 6%
2010 8%


*AA home insurance fire damage claims data January 2010 – January 2014

30 October 2014