Aviva issues warning to Britons after house fires increase due to charging of electronic devices

Aviva said plugging in items such as cars, electric scooters and other electronic devices could cause them to overheat and catch fire, causing expensive damage worth at least £100,000.

Woman's hand plugging in smartphone charger
Multiple fires have caused six-figure damage, insurance company says

Dozens of fires have broken out due to Brits charging electrical items this year – and now insurer Aviva is warning consumers to be careful when plugging things in.

The insurance company said they had some statements for fire outbreaks related to faulty, damaged or incorrect chargers or items being charged too long.

Some of the worst culprits have been e-scooter and electric bicycles, as well as vapes and even an electric golf caddy.

Each claim causes damage of at least £100,000, the insurer said.

Fires are usually caused when components overheat.

Insurers added that in many cases, the damage is even worse because customers plug in the charger and then leave the house, there is no way to prevent a small fire from becoming a big one.

“This appears to be a growing problem as the number of items using batteries increases,” said Sarah Applegate, chief data analyst at Aviva General Insurance.

Insurer says cheap replacement chargers are a big part of the problem


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“We strongly urge people not to leave their electrical devices unattended while charging or leave devices charging when the battery is full.

“As we see more wireless devices around the home and garden, it’s more important for homeowners to be fire-safe when charging.”

Aviva’s fire claims involving batteries in 2021 include:

  • Remaining e-scooter battery to charge in garage (value: £150,000)
  • An e-cigarette battery explodes (value: £140,000)
  • An electric golf caddy charged while the customer is away (value: £150,000)
  • Overheating of lithium batteries from model airplanes (value: £120,000)

Applegate added: “The number of claims made by chargers is actually relatively small compared to fire complaints in general. For example, we tend to see more fire claims due to candle fires and garden fires.

“However, because people don’t tend to think of chargers as an explosion hazard, they often leave them unattended, which means damage can be worse and more frustrating for guests. row.”

How to keep chargers safe

Aviva has some top tips to keep Britons safe when plugging in electrical appliances.

1) Always use the original charger, not a cheap replacement – it can cause overheating.

2) Replace your charger if it is defective or if the cord is exposed or frayed.

3) Do not leave the battery charging when you go out.

4) Stop charging your device as soon as the battery is full and do not leave the device charging overnight.

5) Place your device on a non-flammable surface while charging. Avoid materials such as clothing, bedding, cushions or paper, and do not cover devices while they are charging

6) Do not overload the power outlet.

7) Store batteries responsibly. Do not leave them in a place that is too cold or too hot.

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