Don’t let garden sheds be easy pickings for thieves

Nearly a quarter of garden sheds are sometimes left unlocked, meaning owners are leaving their valuable equipment at the mercy of thieves.

The lack of shed security can also risk invalidating any insurance claims – and that can mean losses running into hundreds – or even thousands – of pounds.

According to research by M&S Bank, the contents of a shed are worth an average of more than £570, with many sheds containing more than £1,000-worth of equipment – but 15% of owners admit they never lock them.

Meanwhile, the average garden contains plants, bushes, trees and shrubs worth an average of more than £400, but M&S said two thirds of garden owners did not know whether they were covered under their home-insurance policies.

“The value of items in the garden, whether it’s in the shed or the garden itself, is often more than people realise, and can very quickly mount up,” said Paul Stokes, of M&S Bank.

“The time that many invest in the upkeep and maintenance of their gardens can also be extremely significant.

“At this time of year, we would urge householders to check whether their home insurance provides adequate cover for theft or damage to both the shed and the garden. It’s also an ideal time to review what measures they may need to secure the garden to ensure they’re covered, should the worst happen.”