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Garden Security - Reduce the Risk of Opportunistic Theft

Each year, one in seven households has something stolen from their garden according to crime statistics.

It’s hardly surprising, as a typical garden can often have up to £5,000 of goods on display if you take into account table and chairs, barbecues, water features and expensive shrubs.

Two 6ft bay trees that cost £200 each were recently removed from one garden while Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire now only keeps its rare snowdrops (street value £100) on limited display as they have had so many stolen.

A recent study by the Home Office found that thieves are more likely to steal garden furniture (9.6% of thefts) than credit or debit cards (8.2%).

Secure your gates and outbuildings

garden security systemsAs garden crime becomes more common, it’s just as important to secure your outdoor area as it is to protect your house.

You can now incur extra insurance premiums on easy to steal tools such as lawn mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, chainsaws and power tools. Plus, burglars will often use a garden implement, if it’s close to hand, to break into your house or car.

To start with, it’s vital to ensure your garden fences and outbuildings are in good repair – some people also chain up their bins as these are often used by thieves to climb over garden gates and fences.

All garden gates should be kept bolted and padlocked and ideally would benefit from two locks. The same can be said of sheds, garages and summerhouses, which can be fitted with alarms or even alarmed padlocks. If your shed or garage doesn’t have an electricity supply, there are battery powered alarms available.

Install security lighting

Security lights will not only alert you to the presence of an intruder, by illuminating areas of your garden you will discourage potential thieves.

A lighting system with a passive infra-red (PIR) detector is the first choice for many homeowners, especially those with expensive garden items, as it is activated when someone walks past. It monitors the infra-red radiation given off by objects around it and any alteration in background radiation will turn the light on.

Alternatively, a dusk-to-dawn switch operated by sensors will automatically come on when it gets dark and stay on until it’s light. A combination of both dusk-to-dawn and PIR controls can be highly effective, and it’s possible to get solar-powered versions of both.

For additional security, position a CCTV camera alongside a light – this acts as a double deterrent because an intruder will see they could risk being both floodlit and caught on camera.

Other preventative measures

If you have a particularly valuable or unusual item in your garden, it’s worth taking a photograph of it. This makes it easier for police to identify if it’s stolen. Items are often recovered by the police, and your photo will ensure your goods are returned to you faster.

If you have an expensive tree or shrub that you want to protect, you could use an automatic alarm that will sound should anyone try to remove the plant container. Locking brackets could also be used to secure hanging baskets.

And finally, for a very simple deterrent – try putting a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign on the garden gate!

Would you like expert advice on how to secure your garden?

If you’d like to find out how the latest home security products can improve the security of your garden and outbuildings, contact Stuart at Rocks Locks. Stuart will conduct a FREE security survey and provide advice on the best security solutions to meet your needs and budget. Call Stuart on 07900 335525.

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