Brits have caused a staggering £617 million of fire damage to their properties while barbecuing when they’re drunk, new research reveals.
One in four will be sozzled every time they take charge of the charcoal, according to the survey by More Th>n.
However, gardens are often full of flammable features such as wooden furniture, sheds and trees – and boozed-up Brits have been responsible for reducing 1.5 million gardens to cinders in the past two years, largely as a result of absent-mindedly lighting the barbecue near these flammables or by knocking over the barbecue, the home insurer said.
The worst offenders of drunkenly grilling the garden are men, being responsible for eight out of 10 incidences reported, the figures show.
But while women tend to start fewer mishaps, they typically cause £525 of property damage compared with £383 sparked by men, according to the insurance data.
With an event-packed summer ahead, millions of UK consumers are already planning barbecues to coincide with the UEFA European Football Championships, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.
Based on past claims data, More Th>n reckons there could be as many as 900,000 garden fires before the end of August.
Janet Connor, the insurer’s managing director, said: “As this research shows, it doesn’t take much for a pleasant barbecue to turn into a smoky disaster.”