Now it’s summer, it’s time to really show off your garden – but it’s also a time when it’s particularly attractive to thieves.
Research from Co-operative Insurance found two-thirds of households have been the victim of green-fingered thieves in their gardens at least once.
Hanging baskets, garden plants and shrubs, machinery, pots and even koi carp have been stolen, according to its survey of 2,000 people across the UK.
According to Co-op claims data, the average claim related to garden theft now stands at £208 (€251).
Here are some tips from the Co-operative Insurance to keep thieves away from your garden valuables:
Check you have adequate insurance cover and make sure you are clear on what is covered. Most household policies will be covered up to a certain amount, but insurers may specify that items should be locked in a shed, garage or brought into the house.
Don’t advertise to thieves. Lighter evenings mean all your expensive power tools, bikes and children’s toys are more visible to opportunist criminals, be sure to keep any valuable items out of sight and wherever possible, keep them locked away or indoors.
Mark your valuable items. If possible, tag items, such as patio furniture, barbecues, expensive pots and garden machinery with your postcode using invisible ink. In addition, take photos of your valuable items should an insurer want proof of ownership.
One of the most common pitfalls is making climbable items accessible to thieves. Items such as ladders and wheelie bins can be used by burglars to get into a home, therefore, it is important to store them where they can’t be seen or reached by thieves, or lock them up so they can’t be moved.
Secure sheds with a padlock. Ensure shed hinges are secured with coach bolts. Always ensure gates, garages and outbuildings remain bolted with a secure lock.