Ah, spring. Longer days, better weather (perhaps), summer just on the horizon and...big increases in burglary from gardens.
That’s right. According to ten years’ worth of home insurance claims data from Aviva, thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by 20% when the clocks go forward.
The same Aviva data shows that thefts from gardens peak at the height of the summer, with July and August seeing a 30% increase from the bleak midwinter.
The average garden haul totals around £850, with light-fingered thieves making off with everything from kids toys and bikes to garden tools.
Bikes are also a popular target for thieves – not surprising, considering how much some of them are worth.
We looked at home insurance quotes carried out on Gocompare.com for the first three months of this year, and found that the most expensive bike added to a contents policy quote was worth £15,000. In addition, 14% of bikes added to quotes had an average value in excess of £1,000.
To keep thieves at bay from your garden, take the following steps:
Pack things away
Don't tempt the thieves in, put away your garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and bikes at the end of the day.
Lock it up
Lock your sheds and out-buildings, replace any rusty padlocks. Close gates and repair damaged fences - deterrents are sometimes the best prevention.
Keep it under cover
Hide or cover bulky items which can't be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches.
Don’t help them out!
Lock up ladders and secure wheelie bins - they are perfect for giving burglars a leg up into the rest of your home!
Gravel makes a right old noise when walked on, so think about putting some down in your garden to put off thieves.
Keep a visual record
Take photos of your shed, garage or outhouse valuables in case anything is stolen or vandalised.