April 16, 2012 at 01:00 AM EDT
Light Nights Cause Uplift in Garden Burglaries, Says Swinton

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 04/16/12 -- Swinton, the UK's leading home insurance broker is predicting an increase in customer claims for garden thefts, since the nights started to get lighter across Britain.

According to a customer survey by Swinton, 11 per cent had reported falling victim to garden theft since the beginning of March this year. As the days get longer, more homeowners are getting outdoor furniture, barbeques, patio heaters and other such outdoor equipment out of storage and setting up in gardens for the summer months ahead.

The average contents for gardens in the UK totalled GBP 1,250 according to the survey, with 15 per cent reporting break-ins to garden sheds.

Taking extra precautions such as putting padlocks on sheds and chaining gas bottles and barbeques to the ground or an external wall will help to reduce the risk of being targeted by thieves.

Swinton has some helpful tips for homeowners to deter thieves over the summer:


--  Never leave expensive equipment such as docking stations, mp3 players or
    bicycles in the garden unattended.

--  Always make sure the garage or shed door is securely locked.

--  Invest in a padlock and chain for patio heaters and barbeques that tend
    to be left in the garden all season.

--  If you live in a high theft area, make sure your garden isn't easily
    accessible to passers by erecting high fences, gates and shrubs may help
    to deter a thief from entering as leaving may not be that easy.

--  Make sure valuable DIY equipment is kept well hidden from any windows in
    garden sheds or garages. If a thief can't see anything they want, then
    it's unlikely they'll attempt a break-in.


Steve Chelton, Claims Manager at Swinton said: "With the lighter nights and warmer climate, more and more people want to be outside and take their music players and laptops with them. It's important to make sure that these are never left unattended as they are highly desirable to thieves. Ensuring gates and doors are always locked will also help to prevent a break-in, and prevent a claim needing to be made to your house insurance."

About Swinton


--  With 553 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street
    insurance retailer.

--  Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton
    is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the
    community.

--  Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of
    its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike
    and even classic car insurance.


Contacts:
SKV Communications
Mairead Rodden or Lucy Gordon
0161 838 7770
www.skvcommunications.co.uk

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