Security alert for a nation sitting on a small fortune

Forget the Lotto and Euro millions, Yorkshire folk seeking their fortune could do worse than take a close look around their own homes, according to a new survey.

Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 3:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 3:26 pm

Britons are sitting on - figuratively if not quite literally - more than £342m worth of small change and misplaced notes that have been put away for a rainy day and forgotten about.

Much of that small fortune, at least £39m, is to be found in the nooks and crannies within sofas and armchairs with the average Briton ‘losing’ £3.27 a year in the sofa alone.

The study of 2,000 people found households discover a small fortune in pennies, toys and lost possessions over a lifetime of cleaning.

As well as money and valuables, a spring clean can also unearth some surprising finds with respondents finding an eclectic range of objects, including a neighbour’s live pet snake, remote controls, a prosthetic leg, a stuffed cat and the landlord’s wisdom teeth.

“The research shows our homes are full of weird and wonderful items and that, clearly, we’re not always sure what we actually have under our roofs,” said a Yale spokesman.

“From valuable jewellery that’s been lost or misplaced, to the coins in the sofa – people may well find a few hidden treasures when approaching their spring cleaning this year.

“Respondents reported some incredible, puzzling and quirky discoveries while tidying and it shows that knowing what’s in those nooks and crannies is worthwhile.”

One in six households has a very valuable item or treasured possession which they’ve completely lost somewhere within their home, while the average person currently has four important things they have misplaced.

Keeping a better track on the stuff we own is probably worthwhile, results found the average Briton estimates the value of all the goods in their home at more than £15,000.

Anyone frantically looking for a lost item should always check the sofa first - statistically the most likely place in the home for a lost item to be tucked away.

While the potential rewards of cash, forgotten valuables and surprising items can present themselves, the urge to spring clean can be also be risky – 47 per cent have suffered an injury while cleaning or tidying at home.

A third of those surveyed confess they haven’t thought about their home security in a long time. One in four Britons admit they worry more about the security of their home in the summer and milder months as they spend more time away from the house.

The Yale spokesman added: “It’s easy to lose track of items and there are clearly many areas in our homes we don’t often explore or check over. Aside from sorting cupboards and scrubbing floors, the annual spring clean is the perfect opportunity to undertake a quick and simple home security audit, just to ensure that your property is as secure as can be.”

The 10 weirdest items found while cleaning are:

Prosthetic leg

Stuffed cat

The landlord’s wisdom teeth

A dead budgie

A wasp’s nest

TV remote control – 3 years after losing it

A jar of cat hair

A witch’s mask

A pregnancy test kit

The neighbour’s live pet snake