A recent study of figures from 38 police forces, scarily suggested that a garden item is stolen every eight minutes, and that there were over 60,000 garden thefts in 2014 alone, affecting about 1 in 7 households. The weather’s warmer, the nights lighter and we’re all using our gardens more – but also leaving our often valuable garden belongings vulnerable. Garden toys, furniture, barbecues, equipment and power tools are all very expensive, as are many shrubs, planters and water features – don’t let someone ruin what you’ve worked hard for, secure your property properly.
The Ultimate Security Checklist
- It’s glaringly obvious, but take a few minutes to tidy away at the end of the day or when you go out. Yes, it’s lovely and dry, yes you’ll be using them all again tomorrow – except you won’t, if someone breaks in and takes them.
- Try to secure your garden itself if possible – make sure the boundary fencing is high and robust, and a high gate with a security padlock will certainly make a would be thief think again. Even if he could still get in, he’d struggle to get cumbersome items out. Think about it, if the burglar is in your garden, he’s only one step away from ransacking your home.
- Fit security lights to deter night-time criminals and consider CCTV – it doesn’t have to be expensive and could be worth its weight in gold. Use warning signs so CCTV will be a deterrent, but have it concealed or out of reach so it can’t be disabled
- Use plant anchors for expensive shrubbery and wire hanging baskets or planters to brackets or posts and if possible chain or anchor garden furniture, barbecues and statuary. Valuable fish can be microchipped and photographed, (again, use a sign – prevention is everything) and secure a grille over the pond.
- Security mark EVERYTHING and advertise the fact with signs around your garden and gate – security marks may help return items but tell Mr Thief and they may not go in the first place.
- If you use a large Summerhouse or purpose-built top-of-the-range shed as a gym, playroom, studio or office, it’s vital that it’s correctly secured. This really is an extension of your home so the building itself must be incredibly strong, and with very heavy-duty – ideally insurance-approved – locks and secure windows.
- Ordinary garden sheds, as home to most of our valuable garden items such as lawn-mowers, hedge-trimmers, chainsaws and even our bicycles, also need to be fit-for-purpose and properly locked – amazingly, around 20% of sheds are left unlocked, and think, those tools aren’t just valuable – they can be used to break into your home! Use a mortice sashlock if possible, mortice security bolts if not, or a hasp, staple and padlock if the doors are too thin – these will at least cause enough delay and disturbance that a would-be robber will hopefully decide against it.
- Increase security INSIDE your shed, too – steel lockable trunks and safes can also be screwed to the floor while bikes and handled garden tools, for instance, can be chained to special brackets.
- If you’re serious about garden security, though, the time has come for a proper security shed – either a galvanised steel, multi-point locking one, locksmith and insurance-approved – so it could even save you money on your premiums; or for the more traditional look a wooden security shed, with internally-glazed security windows, extremely sturdy tanalised timber and heavy-duty hinges and locks.
Hopefully it will never happen to you and your garden will remain your haven and pride-and-joy, but don’t just cross your fingers and trust to luck – do something about it.
The post has been supplied by York Timber Products, one of the UK’s leading manufacturer of garden sheds and outdoor buildings.