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Spooky Home Preparations: Halloween and Bonfire Night Insurance Checklist

09 October 2023

The spooky season is upon us! Halloween and Bonfire Night are almost here, which means homes across Britain will soon be decorated with jack-o'-lanterns, skeletons and fireworks displays. These beloved traditions come with some risks that homeowners should address. Use this checklist to ensure your home is safe and insured this autumn.

Secure Outdoor Decorations

  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), over 300 accidents involved Halloween decorations in the UK in 2021. Take proper safety precautions.
  • Place decorations away from walkways and sidewalks to avoid tripping hazards. Stake or fasten decorations securely so they don't blow away.
  • Inflatable decorations should be firmly tethered and installed per the manufacturer's instructions. Deflate when high winds are forecasted.
  • Check electrical decorations for damage before displaying. Replace any with frayed wires, loose connections or cracked plastic.
  • Only use exterior-rated extension cords and outlets. Do not overload circuits. Plugging too many decorations into one outlet can cause fires.
  • Make sure all decorations are turned off when not home. Unplug anything within reach of children.

Fire Safety

  • Test all smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Be sure you have alarms on every level of the home and inside each bedroom as required by UK fire codes.
  • According to Electrical Safety First, around 4,000 house fires annually in the UK are caused by electrical faults. Inspect all electrical decorations to prevent overloads.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers. Replace or recharge any that are expired or have low pressure. Please keep them in easy-to-access locations.
  • Keep exits, hallways and staircases clear of obstructions and decorations. Decorations should never limit emergency egress.
  • Store all flammable materials away from open flames and heat sources. This includes costumes, dried flowers, and craft projects.
  • Properly dispose of pumpkins, matches, and any fire debris when finished. Never leave outdoor flames unattended.

Insurance Review

  • Review your home insurance and ensure adequate liability and personal property coverage amounts. Increase them if hosting large gatherings.
  • According to British Insurers, burglaries increase by around 20% in the UK during autumn and winter when it gets darker earlier. Consider this before displaying valuable decorations.
  • Notify your insurer if you plan to host a bonfire party. They can determine if this changes your risk profile.
  • Inform your insurer about expensive Halloween decorations, especially animated props, that may increase theft risk. Update your coverage as needed.
  • Carefully read your policy terms to see what incidents are covered or excluded, including vandalism and weather damage to decorations.
Preparing diligently for Halloween and Bonfire Night will let you enjoy the festivities rather than worrying about accidents and disasters. Following these home insurance tips will bring you peace of mind no matter what tricks or treats this season may bring!