During the summer months, homeowners increasingly invest in new and expensive gardening furniture and tools, which is traditionally stored in sheds or other outbuildings when not in use.

However, research has shown that more than 2.5m UK homes have fallen foul of garden thefts, with the average claim now standing at £208 – that’s a total of £517m worth of garden items that have been stolen.*

But one often overlooked customer base for outdoor security products that merchants should be targeting is the contractors and trade professionals who store their expensive tools and building materials in their sheds and outbuildings.

Although it could be argued that contractors often have their own vans where they store such items, it’s also true that many use their outbuildings to hold some of the more bulkier and expensive materials. This creates a strong sales opportunity for merchants, who can specifically promote security products that are tailored to protect this.

For example, standalone, battery-powered alarms are ideal for use in garages and outbuildings, as they require no hard wiring and can simply be placed on a shelf or mounted on a wall. The in-built siren will sound if an intruder enters, alerting the homeowner if they are elsewhere in the garden or inside the home. If a home alarm system is already installed then additional PIR’s or door contacts are ideal for protecting sheds or outbuildings, creating a lucrative add on sales opportunity for merchants.

For the more modern tradesperson, upsell a smart alarm which can alert homeowners to an intrusion remotely via their smartphone adding extra peace of mind.

Heavy-duty weatherproof padlocks are also highly recommended for shed and garage doors. Most sheds are supplied with minimal door security, so it’s worth highlighting this to customers and recommending that they fit a padlock that can withstand all weathers.

Add-on sales can make a considerable difference to your profits, so by stocking the right mix of outdoor security products during this time of year, merchants can meet the needs of the growing numbers of trade professionals who are using their sheds and garages to store expensive equipment.

*Cooperative Insurance

Dave Herbert is business development director for Yale Smart Living.