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Harmless fun or a ‘flipping’ disaster?

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And you thought all you had to worry about was which topping to choose? Pancake Day sees increase in fire and accidental damage claims

On Shrove Tuesday, millions of Brits will be making pancakes. But new data shows that over-optimistic flipping can be hazardous.

Analysis of internal data by insurance group Policy Expert showed an increase not only the number of fire and accidental damage claims but also the value. There are 39% more fire and accidental damage claims on Pancake Day than on an average day, and those claims cost on average of £1,659, 14% higher than the average fire or accidental claim.

Adam Powell, chief operating officer at Policy Expert said: “Pancakes will be flipping in homes across the UK as people celebrate Shrove Tuesday. However, extra care must be taken and that’s not just with the lemon and sugar. Accidental damage and fire claims spike on Pancake Day, with hot pans being left on the heat one the most common causes of house fires. Taking a moment to make sure the pan is off the heat when it’s not being used, all the hobs are turned off, and keeping a close eye on children when they are cooking can prevent the day turning into a disaster.”

Accidental damage is defined as ‘damage that occurs suddenly as a result of an unexpected and non-deliberate external action’. That means an unintentional one-off incident that damages your property and/or its contents. You will usually be covered for pancake-related disasters, but it is always worth checking your policy.

Policy Experts top tips for keeping safe on Pancake Day:
• Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in your kitchen and they are fully functioning.
• Keep children and pets well away from the hob and any hot pans.
• Never leave pans unattended when the heat is on as oil can combust when it becomes too hot. Once you’ve finished cooking double and triple check that the heat has been turned off. It’s very common to dish them out, and then absent-mindedly put the pan back on a direct flame, forgetting it’s on.
• Do not, in any circumstance, use water or a fire extinguisher to put out oil that’s on fire in a pan. One method is to wet a tea towel, wring it out, and then place it over the pan edges.
• If there is a fire and it gets out of control, close doors leading into the kitchen or any other room the fire has taken hold to help prevent its spread and contact the emergency services.

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