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Burglars target garages and sheds

One in four (27%) garage owners in the UK have been burgled, along with 16% of shed owners, our research shows.

The figures reveal key trends in burglaries of non-connected buildings – buildings not connected to the main household by a door - over the past decade, from the most commonly stolen items to the time and cost of burglaries.

Brits losing more to outbuilding burglaries 

The value of contents stolen from Brits’ sheds and garages has gone up over the past 10 years. Between April 2019 and March 2020 almost 20% of burglaries involved the loss of more than £1,000 worth of items – an increase of 19% since 2010. 

The research also found that non-connected buildings are particularly vulnerable to theft, with 19% of garage owners and 24% of shed owners admitting to not taking additional security measures to prevent burglary, yet 18% of garage owners and 6% of shed owners have between £5000 and £10,000 worth of goods in their properties.

When do burglars strike? 

Burglary figures from the past 10 years reveal the most common time to be burgled is on a weekday (68%) between midnight and 6am (41%).

However, there’s has been a 13% decrease in incidents happening at these times over the past five years. So it’s important to think about security, no matter the time of day.

Thieves target tools 

Tools and work materials are the most commonly stolen items in non-connected building burglaries. 

The study reveals these items are stolen in 39% of cases. Garden furniture is the second most-stolen item (31%), while miscellaneous items and bicycle/bicycle parts take third place (12%).


How does the nation protect its non-connected buildings? 

When it comes to measures to prevent theft, the most commonly used methods include locks (49% shed /40% garage) and automatic lighting (24%/29%), followed by alarms (19%) for garages and CCTV (15%) for sheds. 

Our survey also reveals that 18% of participants' home insurance did not cover these buildings, and 29% of those whose insurance did include cover didn’t know how much they’d be able to claim back for stolen contents.

5 tips for protecting your non-connected buildings 

1. Put in additional safety measures 

Simply fitting an alarm, CCTV or automatic lighting can go a long way to deter thieves and protect your garage or shed. 

2. Lock tools away at night 

Using a lockable site box to store your high-value tools at night is a great way to deter thieves from stealing them. 

3. Frost your windows 

The less visible your valuables are to a potential thief, the lower the likelihood that they will get stolen. To keep your valuables out of sight, try frosting your windows or using reflective film. 

4. Lock large items together  

Locking together high-value items, like bikes or gardening equipment, can be a great theft deterrent as it makes stealing these items extremely difficult. 

5. Make sure your home insurance covers non-connected buildings 

Even if you do take precautions, you may still get burgled so it’s crucial to make sure your home insurance covers your non-connected buildings. Chris King, Head of home insurance warns: “It’s important to be aware of exactly what’s covered by your home insurance policy when it comes to your non-connected buildings as not all providers cover these buildings as standard." 

Sources and methodology 

The data gathered on non-connected building burglary trends were collected using the following source: 

All data collected from this source was based on non-connected building burglaries with entry. 

The survey data collected in this study was based on a survey of 1000 garage and shed owners in the UK, which took place in November 2021.