Drunk in charge of your home?

drinkingGareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Over 3.3 million of us have broken something valuable after falling over whilst drunk. Meanwhile, 2.2 million have accidentally left the keys in the front door when coming home after a night out, and 1.08 million have left kitchen or bathroom taps running and then fallen asleep - causing a flood.

In all, we have caused £700 million of damage, and the experts say things are getting worse.

The risks

Over a third of home owners and tenants admit they have caused a house fire, a flood or smashed valuable items as a result of being drunk in the home. Other common incidents include causing a kitchen fire after falling asleep when cooking food (1.16 million incidents) - with burnt pizza (28%), chips (15%) and bacon (14%) being the foremost fire starters, and Causing a fire by leaving candles burning (599,104 incidents).

And it's not the rowdy teens and dodgy students we need to worry about. The researchers found that the worst offender for being drunk in charge of a house is a 35-54 year-old professional living in a property worth an average of £242,673

Getting worse

Things have deteriorated in recent years. While once much of our boozing took place in pubs, where prices and logistics would demand a certain level of control, now more of our drinking goes on behind closed doors.

And while 83% of people have always had a drink or two in their own home, 61% of people admit they are now regularly drunk in their own home. After-all, if we can't afford to go out for a meal or to the pub, then we are more likely to make our entertainment with a drink or two (or three or four) at home on a Saturday night.

Protect your home

The company assessed the risks that are most likely to catch us out after a night on the booze, and put together a checklist to keep us safe:
  • Never cook when drunk - order a takeaway or prepare food that doesn't require heating;
  • Keep any valuable or fragile items safely out of drunken-tripping distance;
  • Forget about mood lighting - leave the candles alone if you've had one too many drinks;
  • Don't worry about personal hygiene at the end of a heavy night - take a bath the next day
  • Always keep your keys about your person - a retractable key ring is one way to ensure that your house doesn't become an easy target for burglars.
Matt Pernet, from MORE TH>N Home Insurance, commented: "The dangers of drink driving are well documented, but the perils of being drunk in the home are not. Yet, as this research shows, the home can be a highly precarious place for somebody with impaired judgement. If you think you are going to be drunk at home then it pays to plan ahead. With just a few small acts of mindfulness you can significantly reduce the chances of a costly incident from occurring."

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade added: "Too many fires are started when someone has passed out and left a pizza in the oven or some bacon under the grill. If people are going to have a few drinks, whether at home or on a night out, then a takeaway is by far the safest option to satisfy any late-night cravings."

So what do you think? Has drink ever led to destruction in your home? And where do the dangers lie? Let us know in the comments.
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