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Tenth of homeowners plan fires instead of central heating due to energy costs

·2-min read

One in 10 homeowners have said they plan to use real fires instead of central heating, leading to concerns among insurers that some could be putting their properties at risk.

Research from Aviva found a tenth of adults said they plan to light fires or stoves more often in their homes to avoid central heating amid soaring energy prices.

In October, millions will see their energy bills rise by 80% after regulator Ofgem confirmed it will increase its price cap for the average home from £1,971 to £3,549.

The study also showed that 92% of people are looking towards alternative ways to keep themselves warm as they seek to reduce their bills.

However, the data also showed that three out five resident who plan to enjoy real fires this autumn are ignoring some necessary precautions.

Only 37% of fire users ensure their chimney is swept annually, while a similar proportion said they check whether fuel is suitable for their fire or stove.

It added that just 41% said they make certain their chimney is not blocked or capped off, according to the survey.

Hannah Davidson, senior household underwriting manager for Aviva, said: “It is a real concern that people could be putting so much at risk by not taking simple fire safety steps.

“Homes, possessions and sadly lives can be put in jeopardy if chimneys are capped or aren’t swept properly – or the wrong type of fuel is used.

“We’d urge people to take action now to make sure fireplaces and stoves are safe and suitable if people plan to use them this year.

“It’s understandable that people are looking for alternative ways to heat their properties, but it’s vital that people put a few checks in place first, to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a real fire without worry.”