With the start of 2018 you may wish to consider a New Year’s resolution with regards to your home security.
Research shows that your garden could be a valuable picking ground for any criminal.
Garden furniture, plants and children's toys can be easy pickings for thieves as the days get lighter. With the contents of the average British garden now worth almost £2,000, it's important to ensure your garden is secure.
By having a secure boundary this will help reduce the risk to your property and help prevent attempts for forcing entry via the back of your property which is normally more secluded than the front.
This guide explains how to maximize your garden security with gates, locks and lights.
Create a fence
Your garden should be the first line of defence from burglars, so it's important to install strong fences or gates surrounding your patch.
Ideally any gates, fencing, walls or hedges at the FRONT of your house should not be more than 1.2m (4ft), so the front of your property can be seen by passers-by.
A standard 1.8m (6ft) wall or fence at the BACK of your house is usually enough. However, if there is public access on the other side you should increase the height to 2m (6ft 6inches). Normally anything higher requires planning permission.
You can increase the height of fences with trellis fixed to the top, as this is difficult to climb over. Planting prickly plants or a hedge, such as firethorn, climbing rose or hawthorn, around the perimeter of your garden can also be a deterrent against burglars.
If there is an access point to your garden at the side of the house you should have a strong lockable gate. Use Sold Secure and Secure by Design products such as the Gate Mate on the garden gates, which should be at least the same height as your fence with hinges securely attached to the gateposts.
Don't tempt thieves by leaving your valuable possessions lying around on display in your garden, there may be plenty on offer for light fingers.
Garden tools should be secured a way from view, this could be used to force entry in to your property. Never leave a ladder in your garden as this could be used by a thief to climb into an upstairs window. Similarly gardening equipment lying around as this could be used to smash your windows. Children’s toys, paddling pools, lawn mowers and bikes should all be stored inside at the end of the day. Bulky items such as large gas barbecues or furniture should be covered up.
Bolt down furniture
Beware that garden furniture and wheelie bins can be used to climb on and access upstairs windows. Use chains to anchor garden furniture to the ground, or at least position these items away from the house. You could also put bricks or stones in the bottom of patio tubs to make them more difficult for thieves to carry. (Chains and Padlock should be to Sold Secure Silver)
Mark your territory, valuable items such as furniture and ornaments with your postcode, followed by your house number also register them on https://www.immobilise.com/ or use forensic marking so if the item is stolen, there is more chance of you being reunited with your possessions.
You should also keep photos of your garden valuables in case anything is stolen or vandalised, as this will help when dealing with the police and your insurer.
Smart Water https://www.smartwater.com/security/
Don't forget that lighting for your garden is very important, especially in areas near to doors and windows. Choose lights that can be triggered by light so that it comes on automatically from dusk to dawn. Hi-Lo LED lights offer a good light coverage and have low running costs.
If you do not have an intruder alarm then we would recommend that you consider having one installed, we cannot endorse specific companies for fitting your home security system - it just wouldn't be fair. However, we can do is recommend things to look for that ensure your security installer is competent. So please look at the information below:
'Talk with us as your local Designing Out Crime Officers, and your insurance company to sort out what kind of alarm is best for you. Companies registered with the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) will be able to help you.'
Should you need further information please contact us,
Mike Jones or Stephen Cake.
The sites are not an endorsement of the retailer they show what products are available:
Wheelie Bin locks https://www.binpin.co.uk/binpin-and-wheelie-bin-brackets
Shed shackle https://securityforbikes.com/shed-shackle.php
Ground anchor https://www.screwfix.com/p/squire-sold-secure-hardened-steel-ground-anchor-gold-100mm/79163
Hi-Lo Security light https://www.lighting-direct.co.uk/asd-hi-lo-led-half-lantern-outdoor-wall-light-with-dusk-to-dawn-and-pir-sensor-white.html
Message Sent By
Tony Fielding (Surrey Police, InTheKnow.Community Volunteer, Guildford) via Neighbourhood Watch Scheme