Distracted UK residents cause £62m worth of damage a year


Homes across the UK are under threat from their distracted owners with £62 million of damage caused last year alone, according to new research.

A survey by LV shows that British homeowners are spending nearly as much time online as they do sleeping in bed – and are multi-tasking more than ever – leading to a surge in distraction accidents.

The most common incidents occurring due to distraction in the home include staining the carpet (34%), starting a fire on the hob (27%) and burning an item of clothing or furniture with an iron (19%).

More obscure incidents included putting a foot through the loft floor (11%) or tripping and causing damage to a wall (11%).

LV’s Selwyn Fernandes said: “With our busy lives and increasing number of tasks on to do lists it is easy to get distracted. By taking care and slowing down you could avoid such damage and potential injury from a slip or a fall in the first place.”

Brits have been consistently clumsy over the past two years, with approximately one million people causing damage to their home or its contents because they were distracted in both 2014 and 20133.

However, there has been a steep rise in the number of incidences over the past five years, with just 320,000 recorded back in 2010.

Those aged between 35 and 44 have been the worst culprits for distraction damage – and are also the most likely to be heavy multi-taskers – averaging five hours a day on multiple activities.

Brits spend an average of a quarter of the day (six hours) looking at devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops – nearly as much as the seven hours a day they spend sleeping.

The top 10 most common incidences that occur in the home because Brits are distracted.

1. Spilling something, causing staining to the floor or carpet 34%

2. Something catching fire on the hob 27%

3. Spilling something, causing staining to furniture 23%

4. The iron burning clothing, the ironing board or a surface 19%

5. Slipping and causing damage to an expensive ornament or heirloom 18%

6. Slipping and causing damage to a piece of electrical equipment (e.g. TV, DVD player, games console) 17%

7. Overflowing the bath or sink 16%

8. Slipping and causing damage to a piece of furniture 13%

=9 Slipping and causing damage to a floor or wall 11%

=9 Putting a foot through the loft floor 11%