Seven in ten hazard-prone Brits take at least one unnecessary risk in their home every day – including walking on a wet floor, leaving windows unlocked, and leaving the front door unlocked all day, research has found.
Nearly one in five Brits (18%) have risked electrocution by turning on light switches while still wet after coming out of the shower or bath, while a third (34%) regularly risk slipping and falling on a wet bathroom floor.
The poll of 2,000 adults found that 21 unnecessary risks are taken around the home each week – with almost a quarter (23%) standing on a wobbly chair to catch a spider on the ceiling.
A further 23% have jumped the last few steps on a staircase – and almost a fifth (18%) of Brits who own garden furniture have neglected it to secure it when stormy conditions are expected.
Meanwhile, more than one in ten (12%) have failed to fit smoke alarms, or have not checked their existing ones are working.
And almost a third can think of a time when they have taken a chance, and it has backfired on them.
Tara Foley, retail CEO at AXA UK, said: “You never know what’s around the corner, and it’s worrying to see a high proportion of homeowners regularly making decisions that can be hazardous at home.
“Risks surrounding our homes are so common that people often don’t consider the dangers they present – but that doesn’t mean Brits should let their guard down and allow themselves to be caught out by easily preventable disasters.
“It is important that people take precautions around the home to protect themselves from accidents which could end up being costly and even dangerous.”
The study also found a daredevil four in ten of those polled would consider themselves risk-takers in their day-to-day lives.
And more than half (51%) admitted to taking risks without considering the consequences of their actions first.
Beyond wet floors and unlocked doors, a third extend their risk-taking behaviour into their finances.
Of these financial risk-takers, 53% have dipped into their savings to buy non-essential items, and 35% have put off renewing their home or contents insurance.
The study, conducted by OnePoll.com, also found one in four (24%) are not currently protected by a home or contents insurance policy – despite 38% living in areas susceptible to flooding or other extreme weather events.
And even of those who do maintain a policy, almost half (46%) are unsure what their home or contents insurance covers them against.
More than four in ten (42%) don’t carry out basic checks and maintenance around their home to prepare for adverse weather conditions – with a third believing that taking countermeasures to prevent disaster is too costly.
However, AXA UK has found the average costs of repairing flood and storm damage could significantly outweigh the cost of preventing disaster – with flood damage repairs totalling an average of £36,000, and storm damage totting up to more than £1,000 to repair.
Tara Foley added: “The cost-of-living crisis has made it even more crucial for people to protect what matters most to them.
“With extreme weather events looking likely to increase in the UK, it is important that people prepare their homes against floods and storms, and they check their insurance cover.
“Investing in home maintenance, such as checking roof tiles ahead of a storm and flood-proofing your property, can help stop damage from happening as a result of adverse weather conditions.
“Disaster can strike in all forms, especially during winter months, but having the right home insurance cover in place can also provide a vital safety net in case the worst happens.
“We encourage people to carry out regular checks and maintenance on their homes, and that they make sure their home insurance policy covers them for any eventuality.
“Not doing so can leave people vulnerable to having to spend significant amounts of money on repairing home damage or replacing valuables.”
TOP 30 MOST COMMON RISKS AT HOME…
- Walked on a wet floor
- Put a washing machine on and left the house
- Left the mains water on when going on holiday
- Left windows unlocked
- Left curtains open when going on holiday
- Stood on a chair to catch a spider on the ceiling
- Jumped down the last few steps on your staircase
- Climbed up on top of kitchen units to reach the top shelf
- Turned on a light switch with wet hands
- Put the dishwasher on and left the house
- Left your gutters “just one more month” before clearing them
- Dipped into your savings for a luxury item
- Didn’t secure a heavy piece of furniture, like a wardrobe, to the wall behind it
- Not checked roof tiles ahead of a storm
- Not keeping a list of emergency contacts
- Not tied down garden furniture ahead of a storm
- Left something cooking in the oven while popping out
- Walked on wet decking
- Not getting a winter car service
- Left the front door unlocked all day
- Not keeping your car in your garage ahead of a storm
- Walked around on the beams in the loft
- Not having a clear car windscreen
- Not checking you have the right tyres for wet/icy road conditions
- Not checking car battery and lights
- Not ensured all windows, doors, and gates are securely shut ahead of a storm
- Left a cable trailing across a walkway
- Left the garage door unlocked
- Overloaded a plug socket with loads of multi-plug adapters
- Not fitted smoke alarms or made sure existing ones still work