Spike in fatal domestic fire accidents
Domestic fire deaths and claims are increasing. Here is what you need to know to mitigate the risk of tragedy in your home.
Faulty appliances and cooking accidents were the leading causes of a spike in fatal domestic fire claims in Financial Year 2021, new RACV Home Insurance data reveals.
In a period marked by lengthy stay at home orders, total fire claims costs increased compared to Financial Year 2020.
Underlining the devastating financial impact of fire in the home, RACV Home Insurance holders made 78 large domestic fire claims where the cost for damages exceeded $100,000 in Financial Year 2021.
Common reasons for the increase in domestic fire claims included:
- Faulty appliances (electric blankets, batteries in charge, ovens in use, clothes dryers) – 18 claims
- Cooking accidents – 6 claims
- Cigarette butts – 5 claims
- Improper Garage storage (undetermined)
Tragically, the data also revealed a significant rise in domestic fire claims involving a fatality.
RACV Head of Home Insurance Kirsty Hayes says the increase in domestic fire claims and fatalities highlights the importance of being vigilant to the constant danger of fire in the home.
“The tragic loss of life and property from domestic fires can largely be avoided through extra care with daily tasks and regular home maintenance,” Hayes says.
“Periodic checks of appliances, maintaining a tidy home and garage, and giving everyday tasks extra attention and concentration, can go a long way to mitigating the risk of fire in the home.”
Lifestyle factors stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as increased working from home, are also presenting new fire threats for Victorian households.
“With the increased use of computer, office and entertainment equipment in the home, it’s important that Victorians are mindful of growing fire safety hazards in the home, such as overloaded power boards.”
As the festive season approaches, Hayes reminds Victorians to ensure that they have adequate home insurance coverage to protect their buildings and contents in the event of something unexpected, such as fire.