They say we are living in a golden age of television, with the endless stream of gripping Netflix, HBO and BBC dramas meaning our eyes spend more time glued to our TV screens than ever before.
We are currently so enthralled by our favourite shows in fact, they could quite easily cause us to forget about the bath tap we left running, or the frying pan that’s been left on the stove.
This is certainly the case for two thirds (67%) of Britons who admit to getting distracted from the real-world when watching TV, with almost half (45%) even neglecting a domestic task because they are so absorbed in a programme, according to a new study by MORE TH>N Insurance.
While you might expect these to be confined to smaller tasks, such as forgetting to turn the iron off or leaving the washing out on the line, the study reveals the alarming regularity of more serious incidents occurring, with 15% confessing to have caused accidental damage to their home as a direct result of getting distracted when watching TV, equivalent to four million households across the UK.
So what TV programmes do Britons need to be most wary of when they settle down for an episode?
Breaking Bad tops the list of ‘most dangerous shows’, with Walter White’s exploits causing a fifth (19%) of all reported emergency incidents in British households. The study found the average cost of damage per Heisenberg-induced case was as high as £466.81, with burning food in the oven (48%), kitchen flooding (17%) and pans fires (13%) the most common misfortunes stemming from the gripping drama.
The results make equally stark reading for Game of Thrones lovers, with the popular HBO series in second with a 15% share of recorded incidents and a mean ‘cost of damage’ per case coming in at £252 for those overly caught up in the world of Westeros. Burning food in the oven again proved to be the most common pitfall, accounting for 43% of calamities, ahead of flooded bathrooms (21%) and smoke fires in the kitchen (11%).
Viewers of X Factor meanwhile would appear to be taking more interest in Judge’s Houses than their own, as the talent show finished third in the rankings, accounting for 14% of recorded cases, at an average cost of £581 per incident for unlucky fans of the series.