The weather is warming up and lockdown is easing which means people will be dusting off their expensive outdoor furniture and bringing garden ornaments out of storage over the coming weeks.
While it’s nice to admire and enjoy your items in the sunshine, it also puts valuables at increased risk of theft or damage to the elements.
And it’s not always practical to put everything away again at the end of the day.
Brian Brown, consumer finance expert at star ratings website Defaqto, shares 10 top tips for protecting them.
Protect your boundaries
A determined burglar may still break in, but a fence will help to put them off. Keep fences in good repair. Another tip is to plant prickly hedges and plants around the walls.
Heavy garden fixtures are harder to steal
If you have a sculpture that might be targeted, consider putting it in the middle of a pond or mound of soft earth to make it harder to steal. You can also permanently fix sculptures to the ground, if you are happy to drill a hole in the bottom.
Try to secure any expensive items in the garden in a shed or outbuilding, such as gas fired barbecues and patio heaters. Put your postcode on expensive items, so you may get them back if they are taken.
Brave the cobwebs to check the contents of your shed
Check what you are storing in your shed and make sure you have enough insurance cover for it. Around one in five policies give cover between £250 and £2,000. Some offer cover for the value of items and others cover a percentage of the contents sum insured.
Keep sheds and outbuildings locked
Around one in six policies don’t cover anything if it is stolen from an unlocked outbuilding.
Keep barbecues and fire pits safe
Keep the fires away from the house and outbuildings and keep water or an extinguisher on hand just in case.
When using a barbecue, remember to wait for the coals or logs to cool completely before disposing of them. Many house fires are started each year from hot coals in dustbins.
Protect your hot tub
If you have a hot tub, place it on a flat surface where it can’t be damaged by sharp edges.
Consider security lighting
Many thefts from gardens take place at night. It may be worth adding some security lighting.
Protect your front garden
Some thieves simply steal flowers and plants because they like the look of them. One tip is not to grow anything with a long stem in your front garden or in view of the road, which can be easily clipped and taken.
Don’t leave ladders and tools outside
They could be used to gain entry to your home, or a neighbour’s property.
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