How to keep your home and garden protected as the days get lighter
The lighter spring days are a welcome relief following months of dark winter evenings, and many people will be gearing up to spend more time outdoors.
This often means moving items such as garden furniture, gardening equipment and barbecues outside, plus children’s toys and bikes. As we move towards summer, people might be more likely to leave windows and sheds open too – and opportunistic thieves can be waiting to strike.
Halifax Home Insurance recorded a jump of just over 23% in theft claims in spring 2022 (March to May) compared with the winter months of December 2021 to February 2022.
It also saw a 22% jump in theft claims during spring 2022 compared with the same period in 2021.
“We often see an increase in claims for unforced burglaries when the days get lighter as thieves are most likely to follow the path of least resistance, using open windows and doors to get into properties,” says Tim Downes, a senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance.
With some people planning getaways as the weather gets warmer, Downes notes that “taking a few simple steps can help prevent burglaries”.
Here are some tips from Halifax Home Insurance to help households protect their property over the warmer months…
1. Lock up
Secure access to your home and garden by closing and locking doors and windows at night or when out and about, and using internal bolts or padlocks on garden gates to make sure unwanted entry cannot be easily gained.
2. Tag it
Mark items with an ultra-violet pen to help trace them if stolen.
3. Lock items away
Put away tools and equipment that could be used to break into homes, and lock away items such as garden ornaments, furniture and bikes when they are not being used.
4. Hide items from sight
Avoid leaving spare keys to the home or outbuildings in obvious areas, such as under plant pots beside doors. Thieves can predict where they might be hidden, so don’t make it easier for them.
5. Watch out for shady behaviour
Remember that planting tall trees or shrubs around a garden gate can provide the perfect cover for thieves.
6. Garden cover
Make sure you have adequate home insurance, which also includes belongings in the garden, so if the worst does happen, you will be covered.