Your garden should be a safe place for you to relax in and enjoy throughout the year. There are many reasons it should be kept secure, not least because burglars will use it as a quiet space to gain access into the home. The garden itself often holds many items of value – something thieves will know to take advantage of, should they get the opportunity.
There are many things that you can do to improve the security of your garden, so we’ve handpicked a few key points to get you started.
Make your Garden Difficult to get into
- Improve your fence or perimeter. Your aim is to make these as hard to get past, and as unappealing a target, as possible. However, it is important to remember that boundaries between neighbours can be a point of contention, so if you are going to alter a fence, then it pays to be courteous and ask first. If it’s their fence, make sure that you have written permission before you make any alterations.
- Check for gaps in your fencing and replace any broken or missing panels. This will not only prevent a thief from accessing your garden easily, but it will also demonstrate to onlookers that your home is well looked after.
- Top your fence with trellis to make the fence difficult to hop over. If your fence is taken over 2 metres because of the trellis, however, then you will need planning permission. Along the trellis or next to the fence, grow thorny or spiky plants like blackthorn, holly or berberis to further discourage a burglar from getting into your garden over the fence.
- Garden gates. When it comes to the garden gate, make sure that it is shut and locked when it’s not in use. Your gate probably has a sliding padbolt already fitted, but if you want to improve its security, then add a high security padlock.
- Store items away. Make sure that anything that could be used to provide a step up for an intruder, or a tool to break glass, is either put away in a shed or locked down.
- Outdoor security lights will help discourage a burglar too. When activated, security lighting will alert you, the occupants of the building, as well as potentially disturbing neighbours and draw attention to any activity that might be happening in your garden.
Secure your Plants
Surprisingly, many people find that the garden itself is the target for burglaries, with benches, statues, plants and even patio slabs being stolen. Some thieves are audacious enough to hire machinery to remove trees and heavy items. If you have furniture, barbeques and plants that are worth a lot of money in your garden they could be appealing target.
Luckily, there are lots of things that you can do to help prevent your garden plants and other items being stolen.
Plants. It might be tempting to buy grown specimens and plant them in the ground. However, the more secure thing to do would be to use seeds or seedlings and allow them to extensively take root in your garden, therefore making it more difficult for a thief to remove an older plant in a hurry.
Baskets and Pots. Some thieves like to steal the easier items in the garden, such as hanging baskets and potted plants. If you can, make your potted plants heavy and awkward to move by choosing heavy pots or awkward shapes. Use a hanging basket lock to secure these to the bracket.
Keeping Expensive Garden Items Safe
For large structures, garden furniture and ornaments, a professionally installed land anchor can ensure these items aren’t easily removed. Usually, this will involve an item being chained or bolted to a permanent stake in the ground. As an added precaution, security tag your valuables with a UV marker and register them with Immobilise which, once updated, will allow police to help trace owners of stolen goods.
Lighter garden furniture and barbeques can be stored in outdoor garden storage, putting them out of sight and locked away.
Bikes should be kept out of sight too, ensuring that the opportunist thief doesn’t have a chance to snatch it. Keep it extra safe by making sure that you don’t advertise your ownership of it on social media.
Fish. If you keep expensive fish species (like koi carp) in your garden pond, consider microchipping them or securing chicken wire over the pond to prevent them from being stolen easily.
Shed. Your shed can store anything from expensive gardening equipment, bikes and power tools that you will want to secure. You can anchor your shed to the floor or wall, replace the hinges and improve the lock on your shed for extra security. Why not read our top 10 tips on shed security here.
Finally, it is important to check that your home insurance covers outdoor items so you don’t feel the sting should you need to claim for stolen items.