February 23, 2015

It’s amazing the things you can find in people’s garages these days. Barbecues, furniture, surplus electricals… you name it, today’s twenty-first century home will have it in the garage.

One thing you’re increasingly unlikely to find, however, is a car.

Why? Two things, mainly.

For one, many cars nowadays are actually designed to provide a degree of waterproofness, enabling them to stand around outside for extended periods of time without coming to any significant harm (except when it rains hailstones the size of balls).

For another, with barely 40 million sq ft of self-storage space available in the UK, the need to amass vast quantities of material possessions has impelled the growing number of Brits who can no longer fit anything else into their cupboards, lofts, cellars and sheds to repurpose their garages as general clutter repositories.

So there’s no point breaking into garages in the hope of driving away someone’s prize possession. You just walked past that, proudly on display out front, proclaiming the taste, status, and DIY exterior valeting skills of its owner.

But, says James Balloon of Cooperative Insurance, that doesn’t mean there nothing worth nicking in people’s garages. And the convenient thing is that many garages are poorly secured. So they’re a great source (according to the Coop’s research) of things like tools (67%), bikes (38%), and, enticingly, booze (18%).

Those who aren’t using their garages purely as dumping grounds for material excess may have converted them into home offices (25% of all garage conversions), bigger kitchens (14%), extra bedrooms (13%) and “a bigger garden” (6%).

Converting your garage into a bigger garden is certainly ingenious, but, alas, offers little to the prospective burglar. Home offices sound more promising, but often come with enhanced security features such as locks on doors, and then end up having only poxy little Acers in there anyway, Bankstone News imagines.

So best stick with the unconverted kind.

Coop’s Balloon sums up. “The research clearly demonstrates that garages now have a multitude of uses,” he explains, “beyond their original purpose for housing a car.” But “worryingly’ he continues, “nearly one in six people feel their garage is not as secure as it could be.” That is worrying.

“Given the range of valuables, it is vital that households ensure their garage is appropriately secured and its contents safe,” Balloon advises. And, when you think about it, that’s actually an extremely valuable and timely insight.

They should probably get some insurance too.

garage_overflowing


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