UK homeowners have been warned to secure their sheds against thieves now that the clocks have gone back, as the contents of an average one could be worth over £2,500.
Outdoor specialists BillyOh.com have revealed the high value of items usually stored in a British shed and warned Brits to take precautions against winter burglars.
The research has calculated the contents of a typical UK shed to be worth up to £2,578 – with bikes and garden furniture among the most expensive items.
Throw in some sports equipment too, potentially worth hundreds more pounds, and a poorly maintained shed could start to prove a tempting target for thieves also seeking gardening or DIY tools.
They hope this financial revelation will act as a wake-up call to the many households that fail to adequately secure or insure their outdoor essentials.
Sheds are a pot of gold at the end of the garden and always high on burglars’ hit-lists, with other items usually found inside including barbeques, skateboards and washing lines.
Households with specialised equipment or unique items could see the value of their shed rise even higher than the study suggests.
So security should be a top priority for British shed owners; checking the door, locks and windows are up to scratch should make burglary from garden buildings less likely.
But experts have also advised Brits to inspect their insurance policies for coverage of outdoor buildings and items stored in them.
Examining the small print of home and contents insurance could save Brits from forking out thousands on replacement items, if the valuable contents of a typical British shed proves too tempting to a determined thief.
A spokesperson for BillyOh.com said: “Brits must secure their sheds immediately or endure sleepless nights over their valuable items sat vulnerably outside.
“Our researchers have revealed that the contents of a typical UK shed could be worth around £2,578.
“This includes a set of bikes, which alone will probably set an average British family back over £1,000 and that isn’t including stuff like helmets and locks.
“Add to that some sports equipment, a barbeque, some tools and some gardening equipment, and an unassuming British shed could start to look like a pot of gold at the end of the garden in the eyes of burglars.
“It is therefore absolutely vital to get a solid lock and ensure there are no other easy means of entry, but sadly even a securely locked shed could potentially be broken into.
“Most Brits assuming that their shed is covered by their home contents insurance – and most normally are under a separate outbuildings limit.
“But failing to check the small print could leave homeowners massively out of pocket, with some policies even specifically excluding, for example, bikes.
“It is therefore even more important to ensure shed security – most insurers will not pay out on items stolen from shed that isn’t properly locked up and maintained.
“Our advice is to never take any chances; make sure that the shed is securely locked every night and that insurance is comprehensive outdoors too.”
“After all, with over £2,500 sat at the bottom of the garden in all weathers, it would be simply daft not to take precautions.”