30 October, 2019

Harris Balcombe outlines the extent of domestic hazards and provides
some top tips on how to prevent them

As Autumn takes hold we all know the joy of a roasting fire, and the sight of the smiles on children’s faces as they watch the sky illuminate into thousands of colours on Bonfire night. But the last place you want to hear and smell the crackling flames is in your own home, caused by something that could have been prevented with clear thinking and foresight.

The domestic team at Harris Balcombe, the UK’s leading loss assessors and insurance claims consulting firm, are frequently called to peoples’ homes that have been devastated by what seem like very obvious causes. How often do we all go out leaving our electrical goods on standby? Or having left the tumble dryer on whilst we run errands? In a time-poor society we’re saving every minute, but by doing so we’re placing our homes in danger.

The most important advice from Rosie O’Neill, senior domestic technical manager at Harris Balcombe, is to maintain your electrical appliances to a good standard. She comments: “Knowing about the dangers of electricity is one thing, but if you’re ignoring frayed cords, broken cables or overloaded extension leads then you could be on a countdown to danger.

“And placing large appliances too close to the wall, therefore not allowing the cooling mechanism to fully do its job, can cause overheating and trouble. Between April 2017 – March 2018 there were an astonishing 30,744 house fires.1

She then goes on to add: “Fire alarms can be relatively inexpensive and easy to install; they are a must in any domestic setting. The same can be said for Carbon Monoxide detectors, which can help to prevent a possible fatal poisoning. These can plug easily into an electric socket and therefore you don’t need to worry about batteries running out. A truly frightening 23 per cent of households had never tested their alarms in 2016/172. Make a note in your phone to remind you to check your fire alarm each month. Easy, simple steps really can save lives.”

Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers have undeniably improved our lives, but one other statistic shows that faults within these such appliances caused 35 per cent of domestic fires in 20153. Rosie O’Neill comments: “We have come to rely on these white goods, but often we never think to consider the safety of them. However to do so would be at your peril. Regular checks of your appliances and their suitability should become a regular part of your household rota. As well as ensuring they aren’t left switched on when you leave the house.”

  1. Home Office, Goverment Fire Statistics Data
  2. English Housing Survey 2016-2017, Goverment Data
  3. BBC


Notes to editors

About Harris Balcombe:
Harris Balcombe is the UK’s leading loss assessors and insurance claims consulting firm. The firm is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for its clients. Its unique approach to liaising with clients and insurance firms, alongside outstanding training, have enabled the company to build a legacy of success.

Well-known within the industry, Harris Balcombe has built up trust with insurers, loss adjusters and brokers, enabling them to create a unique environment of co-operation and understanding when dealing with claims.

In 2017 HB jointly won the major loss award at the British Insurance Awards, as well as Loss Assessor of the Year at the British Claims Awards.

For further information, please contact:
Publicité Ltd
Katrina Suppiah
Tel: 020 8543 6582

Call our 24/7 helpline on 0330 022 9179 for a free no obligations assessment

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