It often surprises people when we tell them that the weeks following Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, are some of our busiest at Plastic Surgeon, as we get to work repairing the damage caused during the celebrations; acting on behalf of the insurance companies who employ our services across the country.
One major insurance company has published some surprising facts surrounding these events: apparently, burglaries, vandalism and house fires increase significantly over Halloween and #bonfire Night – with fireworks featuring badly in both.
Analyzing claims over a 10-year period, Aviva’s research* revealed that Bonfire Night sparks (pun intended) a 22% increase in burglaries compared to a typical day. Not surprisingly, perhaps, fire claims are 60% higher on Bonfire Night; with a typical house fire causing around £12,800 worth of damage. Car claims also increase, with a 20% rise in motor thefts; while electronic items are also listed, with laptops, smart phones and tablets top of thieves’ wish list.
The insurer’s research also shows that a large number of people don’t check their doors and windows are locked when hosting or attending parties. In a celebratory mood, it seems that all caution is abandoned, and 13% of hosts leave their front door unlocked when they’re letting off the rockets and Roman Candles, while two-thirds don’t check their windows are locked, giving burglars easy access to their home. Incredibly, a third of those going to somebody else’s fireworks party don’t check their windows are locked either.
Top tips to protect your home against burglary:
• If you are hosting a Halloween or bonfire night party in your back garden make sure front windows and doors are locked.
• Leave a radio and lights on to give the impression that people are at home.
• Use a timer switch to turn lights on as it gets dark.
• Avoid telling people you are unsure of – such as deliverymen or window cleaners – that your house is likely to be empty.
• Put your car and bikes in your garage or out of the way for the night and don’t leave your keys in an obvious place.
• Make sure sheds, garages and outbuildings have robust locks
• Move garden furniture or ornaments and potted plants from the front of house and out of sight.
The data additionally revealed that Halloween is the worst day of the year for vandalism, with claims for malicious damage to homes soaring by 160% – and Bonfire Night is the second worst. With repair always being more cost-effective than replacement, it is not at all surprising that insurance companies are looking to Plastic Surgeon for their #bonfire night damage repair services and to put right the damage done to their clients’ homes.
* Aviva commissioned research with One Poll among 2,500 homeowners about their habits and activities on Bonfire Night from 24-27 September 2013.