Scary stuff! Britain's Halloween and bonfire night damage bill

The Momentum UK Team 31 October 2013

Almost a quarter of UK households have suffered damage as a result of Halloween and bonfire night, at a combined cost of £1.38 billion.

Research from Santander Home Insurance found that 23% of UK households have suffered damage during what is sometimes known as “mischief week”. This week can be an opportunity for criminals to behave anti-socially, with many corner shops refusing to sell products such as eggs to teenagers during this period.

The average cost of the damage per household, largely caused by egg throwing, firecrackers through letterboxes and stray fireworks, is £227. Perhaps most shocking of the findings is that 2% of Britons - a million of us - have been attacked by people using fireworks as weapons.

The most common cause of damage was thrown eggs, which affected 2.6 million (10%) of British homes. The research also found that 1.6 million (6%) have had garden plants and fences damaged and removed. Three percent of us have faced property damage caused by fireworks and sparklers, with 2% having items posted through the letterbox which caused damage.

The North East is the most affected by “mischief week”, with 32% of homes in the region having suffered damage in this period.

Mark Russell from Santander Insurance said:

“Halloween and Bonfire night are national celebrations that all families should be able to enjoy. However, many of the traditions we associate with these occasions such as lighting fireworks and ‘trick or treating’, have the potential to be quite intimidating and damage homes.

“Mischief week is unfortunately a prime opportunity for criminals targeting unoccupied properties, so it’s advisable to keep entrances to your home secure and leave a light on to ensure your home appears occupied. For peace of mind and to minimise the inconvenience if any damage does occur, we also urge people to keep their property and possessions protected with comprehensive home insurance.”

As the winter sets in and the festive season approaches, this can be an extremely difficult time to have to fork out for repairs; having a comprehensive insurance policy and a well topped-up rainy day fund in place can save money as well as hassle and heartache at this time of year.