"Most unforced burglary and outdoor theft is opportunistic, and thieves are looking for the path of least resistance"
With two Bank Holiday days back-to-back and the prospect of lots of sunshine, UK homeowners can understandably want to spend a bit of time in their gardens, making use of their patio furniture, barbecues and garden play equipment.
But before they do, Halifax Home Insurance is advising people to be aware of the risks to outdoor valuables, and avoid becoming an easy target for the common garden thief.
Last year the average cost of a claim for an unforced burglary was just over £1,130.00. Many of these incidents would have involved items left unattended in gardens and outside homes, as well as within easy reach through open windows and doors. Claims tend to rise along with the temperature, peaking in June last year. According to Halifax Home Insurance claims data, 2016 saw a 12% increase in unforced burglary during the summer months* compared with the winter ones.
David Rochester, Head of Underwriting for Halifax Home Insurance, said: “Most unforced burglary and outdoor theft is opportunistic, and thieves are looking for the path of least resistance, so there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to protect their gardens and outdoor property which can go a long way towards stamping out light-fingered garden pests.
With the Easter weekend here, many people will be looking to take advantage of deals on garden furniture, barbeques and shrubs, so it’s the ideal time to make sure that they’re not an easy target for garden crime.”
Top tips to keep your garden secure this Easter
Lock up: Always ensure garden sheds, gates, garages and outbuildings remain bolted with a secure lock and make sure there are no gaps in fences or bushes for opportunistic thieves to slip through
Please weight: Put bricks or stones in the bottom of patio tubs to make them more difficult for would-be thieves to carry off
Tag it: Mark valuable items, such as patio furniture and ornaments, with your postcode, and keep photos of your garden valuables in case anything is stolen or vandalized
Border control: If you can’t block access to you garden by locking a gate, high walls, spiky fences and prickly bushes can make it more difficult to access the garden
Long distance gravel: Filling your driveways or front paths with pebbles or gravel can help you to hear someone approaching your property
Hide and don’t seek: Avoid leaving tools, lawnmowers and bicycles in plain view in the garden – always lock them away out of sight. Remember tools and ladders can be used to break in too
Join forces: Look into joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme in order to help protect you and your neighbour’s properties