Lock up your shed!

With the UK having enjoyed a relatively good summer so far, many of us have been spending a lot of time making our garden look its best. In fact, M&S Bank has discovered that 10% of us spend more than 10 hours a week gardening. All those trips to the garden centre for bedding plants and new gizmos can begin to add up, so it is a cause for concern that theft from gardens and garden sheds is big business for the criminal fraternity.

Admittedly there is not much you can do to protect the prize greenery in your front garden from the light-fingered, but you should make sure that your home policy covers this sort of theft. Believe it or not, the average garden contains almost £400 worth of shrubs and trees, so deterrents such as security lighting or a prickly hedge can be worth investing in.

When it comes to garden sheds, however, there is a lot that home owners can do but many don’t. A quarter of us do not always lock it, and indeed a tenth of us admit to never locking it, despite the fact that sheds on average contain almost £600 worth of equipment and a fifth contain over £1,000 worth.

As far as locks are concerned make sure you use the best possible padlock on both sheds and garden gates. Also consider fitting a blind to the windows of your shed so that opportunists are unable to see what goodies lurk within. It may be a nuisance, but move expensive items such as barbecues in to a locked shed or garage when not in use otherwise you may find that they are not insured if they are stolen.

Cambridgeshire Police have some handy tips on shed security.

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