Best Garden Security Tips
You can reduce the chance of theft from your garden, or suffering financial loss if you are robbed, simply by following a few garden security tips.
- Make sure your home insurance policy covers the contents of your garage and shed, in addition to your garden furniture, statuary and fountains.
- Keep a record of the serial numbers of garden machinery and equipment. Mark all moveable property with your post or zip code. It makes identifying items easier if they are recovered by the police. Thieves may also be deterred from taking things that carry identification marks that cannot be hidden or easily removed.
- Take photographs or videos of any valuable items in your garden, making sure distinguishing details are clearly visible. Where possible, include a ruler or some other object in the picture, to give an indication of size.
- Do not leave machinery, such as hedge-trimmers, mowers or strimmers unattended in the garden while you have a break, particularly if they are visible to passers-by.
- Ride-on tractor mowers can be thief-proofed when not in use. A clamp is bolted to the floor of the shed or garage and when the mower is in position over it, security flaps on all sides are padlocked together, to enclose the mower. The padlock is covered, to protect it from bolt-cutters.
- Install security lights that are triggered by movement, and also consider extending your house alarm system to the shed or garage. Battery-powered alarm systems are available, and they are suitable for DIY installation.
- Secure gates, shed and garages with good quality locks, such as a strong padlock, a mortise deadlock or other high-security lock. Your insurance company may be able to offer precise specifications.
- Join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, or start one. It is useful to have observant neighbours keeping an eye on your property while you are away. Keep them informed of any unexpected repairs, deliveries or removals - many burglars masquerade as workmen or delivery services.
Protect property with an earth anchor
Large, valuable items need to be secured firmly to the ground when they are not in use, whether they are kept indoors or out.
Consider using a metal earth anchor which is driven into the ground and then locked, making it almost impossible to pull out.
It is attached to a heavy-duty chain which is threaded through or wound round the object and then padlocked.
- Put away all tools and equipment after use. Apart from their monetary value, ladders, spades and forks can help a burglar break into your house.
- Use a heavy-duty chain and padlock to secure large valuable objects to a concrete slab which has been set into the ground, or bury an earth anchor.
- Even quite large objects can be stolen when owners are away or asleep. Make it more difficult for thieves by winding a heavy-duty chain through several items such as a barbecue and garden furniture when they are not in use. Then secure the ends of the chain with a strong padlock.
- Don't place trees or shrubs growing in tubs where they can be seen easily and taken by opportunist thieves. Pot plants or hanging baskets are at risk in front gardens in high-crime areas, too.
- To prevent a plastic dustbin lid from being blown away in high winds or taken by vandals, attach it to the bin with a length of chain. Fasten the ends of the chain with a padlock or a length of sturdy wire.
- Position a valuable statue in the centre of a cultivated area, so that thieves leave prints of their shoes or car tires.
- Prickly hedges and plants, including blackthorn, holly, pyracantha, berberis, and thorny varieties of rose should be positioned where they will deter thieves.