David Fowkes, Head of Household Underwriting at Admiral, said: “We’ve definitely seen a recent spike in the number of fire claims related to barbecues, bonfires and the burning of garden waste since lockdown began. Our data shows that garden-related fire claims accounted for almost two fifths (39%) of all fire claims from the end of March to the end of April. We’ve seen three times as many claims for fires caused by barbecues and bonfires compared with the same period in 2018 and 50% more than the same period last year - and we’re still getting more claims reported to us as lockdown continues.
“With all the good weather we’ve had in recent weeks, there’s been an increase in the number of barbecue related incidents. Even more concerning though, is the rise in claims relating to bonfires where they haven’t been controlled, extinguished properly or started too close to other buildings or fences. We think this is down to some people being tempted to burn their garden waste or rubbish because some council waste collections have been disrupted and many tips across the UK are closed. In these cases, it’s all too easy for the wrong items to end up on a bonfire which can cause plumes of acrid smoke or toxic chemicals being released and even explosions.