Friday, 13 April 2012

How to help protect your outbuildings from break-ins – and cover your possessions with the right contents insurance

There’s no doubt about it – contents insurance helps to give you peace of mind. It can cover the possessions in your home – and any that are kept outside in outbuildings, garages and sheds from break-ins. But to avoid having to make a claim on your contents insurance, there are some other steps you can take to help make your possessions more secure

When people think about securing their home they often overlook the outbuildings – and these can be easy targets for thieves. Items kept in sheds and garages, such as garden mowers, tools and bicycles, can add up to hundreds of pounds. And some of these tools could even help burglars break-in.

The first step is always to make sure you have the right insurance in place. You can get contents insurance quotes to find the best deal for you. But always check the cover you have for your outbuildings before taking the plunge.

There are also a few simple precautions you could take to help make your outbuildings more secure:

Tip 1: Fit heavy duty locks

You should secure your shed or outbuilding door with at least one heavy duty hasp and closed-shackle padlock, or padbolt.

Tip 2: Check hinges

Even the best locks in the world won’t stop a break-in if the hinges on your doors are weak. If they’re old and rusty, replace them.

Tip 3: Fit window locks

If there are any opening windows, make sure they have secure window locks.

Tip 4: Get an alarm

There are lots of alarm systems on the market that are specifically designed for garages and sheds – these can either run off a battery or your mains power supply.

Tip 5: Lock away tools

There are plenty of items like crowbars and hammers that could help a burglar enter other parts of your home – so lock them away in a sturdy lockable box or cage. Also make sure you don’t leave tools or ladders lying around outside as they could give burglars the leg-up they need to break-in.

Tip 6: Consider installing a camera

If you like your gadgets, look at how much it would cost to install a CCTV camera overlooking your garden and/or the front of your house.

Tip 7: Fit security lights

You can buy clever security lights that come on when they detect movement, or even turn themselves on when it gets dark. Consider installing them around the outside of your house and near outbuildings – the bright lights will be very off-putting for burglars.

These measures could really help to make the possessions in your outbuildings safer. But with the best will in the world, thieves do strike, so make sure your possessions are covered with the right contents insurance.

Halifax offers a great deal on contents and home insurance. Take a look at their website – and sort it out today.

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