Fires and Other Home Hazards Spike During the Holidays, Data Show

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Holiday home hazards - candle safety

The holidays aren’t always as sweet as they could be. Home safety and security frequently bubble up as big concerns, according to a new Allstate claims report that reveals an average of 67,500 homeowners insurance claims take place during the holiday season.

Most likely causes of holiday home fires

Among the biggest risks are home fires, which jump 15 percent during the season, according to the data. Candles are cited as the most likely cause  - and those fires can be costly. The Allstate information shows that the median cost for a candle-related homeowners insurance claim is $50,000.

Christmas trees are another holiday-related fire hazard, and they can result in even costlier damages. The median cost for Christmas tree-related claims is more than $100,000, the data show. In fact, since 2008, Allstate’s most costly holiday fire involved an artificial Christmas tree in the homeowners’ living room. The total loss? Nearly $2.4 million!

Contributing factors to the holiday spike

So, what leads to such seasonal spikes in home claims? Well, holiday pressures may be a contributing factor.

“The holidays are very busy for families and many have significant changes in the dynamics of their daily lives during this time,” said Kathy Mabe, president of the Western U.S. and Canada for Allstate. And those changes may leave homeowners vulnerable, she says.

An Allstate survey released along with the claims report shows that:

  • More than half (52 percent) of consumers say they’re trying to do too many things at once during the holidays
  • 60 percent say they try new techniques for cooking and decorating
  • 55 percent of consumers who drink say they drink more at this time of year than they usually do throughout the year.

“It’s important to understand how the holiday season can increase the risks to your home’s safety and security and to take the steps needed to keep your home hazard-free,” Mabe says.

Other holiday hazards in the home

In addition to fire claims, the holidays lead to significant increases in other types of claims. See the infographic below for a breakdown, along with some tips to help keep your holiday free of home hazards.

 

 

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