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Security advice for garden sheds

19th July 2015

Like me, you've probably noticed an odd phenomenon the last few weeks. A burning ball of fire has appeared in the sky, the garden frost has disappeared, and central heating systems throughout the region have mysteriously been deactivated whilst a whole range of scarves and gloves have disappeared into hibernation for the next two months. Yes, whisper it quietly but an actual British summer has emerged. However, as well as the reduced heating costs, daydreams of holidays, and evenings spent in the garden sledging the Aussies as you listen to the Ashes, the summer does unfortunately herald some not so welcome happenings. And I'm not just talking about the topless men in ASDA sweating over the fruit and vegetables. (STOP doing that by the way, and put on a shirt). 

A survey by the consumer watchdog, Which, has shown that thefts from gardens, sheds, and outbuildings rise by a quarter during the summer months. The lighter evenings don't just bring out the wasps, the pollen, and the drone of next door's bloody lawnmower; they unfortunately also bring out the ne'er do wells, as I believe Dixon of Dock Green might once have called them. (look him up, kids - he was like an early version of NCIS but with fewer guns and more utterings of "Evening All")

Is your shed secure?

Now, as you'd expect, I'd encourage you to look over your security arrangements for your gardens and outbuildings, as I've expanded on before on this blog. We know that security is often neglected on outside buildings and their surroundings as homeowners and renters don't see them as much of a priority as their main house. However, thieves are well aware of this fact too and as a result will target sheds because they know that they have the double whammy of potentially containing expensive tools and other equipment, whilst also having less than comprehensive security.

What I'm concentrating on today is another aspect of the survey carried out by Which that found many people are under the illusion their home insurance policy covers items kept in outbuildings. Yet this is often not the case; Which looked at 38 standard home contents policies and discovered eight of these didn't cover thefts that were worth more than £2,500 from outbuildings. Now whilst most of us will probably not be lucky enough to have items totalling that value; when you add up lawnmowers, bikes, tools, and anything in storage, you could be surprised how it adds up. Which's survey showed that one in ten of the people they contacted had more than £2,000 worth of equipment stored on their property away from their main house, and as such may not have sufficient cover. 

Are you really covered?

Many insurers will also have what is known as a "single article limit" which restricts the amount that can be claimed on any single item. What this means in effect is that you may not get back the full value of any expensive items stored in a shed or garage. Which's advice (and advice with which I very much concur) is to take a moment to check your insurance policy to see if it comprehensively covers all your contents should the worst happen. Of course, away from the actual insurance, the advice remains the same. If you must keep expensive items in an outbuilding, consider utilising an additional padlock to deter potential thieves. Keep sheds locked at all times with sturdy locks, and perhaps invest in an alarm - you can pick up decent motion-activated battery-operated systems these days fairly cheaply, and it may well be an investments that pays you back many times over. 

As ever, if I can provide any further advice or for a free quote on any locksmith in Rotherham related work, call me today on 01709 711055. I will be happy to help. 



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