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Faulty Heating Appliances 'Could Cause Financial Difficulties' This Winter

Oct 13, 2007
As winter draws in and the nights get colder, consumers may find themselves coming under financial pressure, it has been suggested.

The news comes as research carried out by Abbey reveals that about half of all British adults - some 19.6 million people - are set to use some form of heating appliance apart from central heating, such as electric blankets and gas heaters, to keep warm other the winter. However, as the company warns homeowners to use such devices safely, any damage caused by the items could well put strain on their capacity to manage their money. The news comes as data suggests a total 3.3 million pounds worth of damage, just under 500 pounds per consumer, is caused every year due to additional heating appliances, a figure which may see the costs of repairing property put pressure on people's ability to make homeowner loan and utility bills payments.

However, financial management problems could be even more pronounced for the two million people set to use oil radiators to keep themselves cosy this winter. The cost of repairing the damage caused by such a faulty appliance accounts for some 809 pounds. Meanwhile, 8.1 million are looking to use an electric blanket, which causes damages costing a typical 327 pounds to fix. And electric heaters are used by 6.2 million consumers, however as it results in an average of 416 pounds to repair any harm to homes they cause. Thus such people may also develop difficulties in replacing items and meeting personal loan repayments.

Pointing to government figures, the financial provider also stated that electric blankets alone cause more than 5,000 fires in the home every 12 months - the majority of which are started by blankets more than ten years old. Overall, some 4,500 accidental fires are started in the bedroom each year.

Prasad Shastri, head of insurance marketing for Abbey, said: "It is understandable that additional heating appliances are used during the winter, but it is important that they are checked prior to use to ensure that they are not faulty and that they are used correctly otherwise they could prove to be very dangerous".

"We would always advise that people do not leave the heating appliance unattended or fall asleep with it on. Purchasing a timer switch will ensure that electric heaters are not left on longer than necessary. Always exercise caution if the heater has not been used for a while and if in any doubt, get a qualified person to check that it is not faulty."

As a result, those consumers looking to meet the costs of repairing any damage caused by a heating appliance may wish to consider taking out a home improvement loan. Earlier this year, Andrew Leech, spokesperson from the National Home Improvement Council, stated that carrying out renovations could be an effective way for homeowners to boost the value of a property, with applying for such a homeowner loan one method in which such costs can be met. However, Mr Leech reported that people looking to refurbish their homes or get an extension should ensure that any plans have been granted permission by the local authorities. He added that by getting work - such as loft insulation - carried out, consumers could also "save a considerable amount on [their] heating bill".
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal Loans Shop, with information on bad credit loans and debt consolidation loans available on s
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