Despite the recent bad weather, British summertime is officially set to begin this weekend as the clocks go forward.
Homeowners will be looking forward to saying good-bye to the rain and snow and hopefully enjoy some more time outdoors.
As the nation tentatively dusts off its patio furniture, Halifax home insurance is reminding people to be aware of the risks to outdoor valuables and to avoid falling victim to garden thieves.
Last year, Halifax home insurance received 1,277 claims for unforced burglary, with 657 claims being received in summer months*, peaking at 121 in May.
David Rochester, Head of Underwriting, Halifax Home Insurance, said:
“With the long and bleak winter we’ve had many of us will no doubt be looking forward to some sunshine ahead and making the most of the longer days.
“As always however it is important homeowners remain vigilant and take the right steps to protect their property.
“Burglars will follow the path of least resistance, which means that they will often try to get through unlocked windows and doors, or an outdoor shed or garage that isn’t properly secured.
“Taking simple measures such as locking windows and doors at night and storing garden furniture away securely means that as we hopefully welcome in the summer season, homeowners can focus on enjoying themselves, without being bothered by any unwelcome visitors.”
Halifax Home Insurance is offering the following tips to keep your home and garden safe as the days get longer:
1.Lock up: Make sure that all windows and doors are closed at night and that garden sheds, gates, garages and outbuildings remain bolted with a secure lock.
2.Tag it: Mark valuable items, such as patio furniture and ornaments, with your postcode, and keep photos of your garden valuables in case anything is stolen or vandalized.
3.Insurance needs: Make sure you have adequate home insurance which also covers belongings in the garden, and keep receipts for valuable items to help in the event of a claim
4.Garden maintenance: Keep gardens maintained and trees pruned to remove hiding places for burglars and make sure there are no gaps in fences or bushes for opportunistic thieves to slip through.
5.Long distance gravel: Filling your driveways or front paths with pebbles or gravel can help you to hear someone approaching your property
*Summer months are March-August inclusive. Based on Halifax home insurance in-house claims data.