Keeping your garden and out-buildings secure
Week 4 of National Home Security Month is The Great Outdoors – maintaining security for gardens, sheds, garages, summer housse and general out-buildings. We tend to spend a lot of money and effort making sure our home is secure but sometimes other areas of our property can be overlooked. There are two important aspects to consider with external security. One is the value of the contents that could be stolen, and the other is their usefulness for breaking into your home.
The estimated value of an average ‘outdoor burglary’ is £850. When you consider items like bikes, tools, lawn mowers, camping gear and even expensive plants and outdoor furniture, it’s easy to see how this value can mount up.
You may think you have little of value outside but items such as ladders, tables, gardening or camping equipment can all be used to break into your home and finding these things on-site means that burglars don’t have the inconvenience of carrying them, nor can they be incriminated by being caught with them.
So, what can you do to secure gardens, sheds and garages?
These are our best tips on maintaining external security:
⇒ Install a decent lock on sheds and out-buildings. All too often people ‘make do’ with a sub-standard lock or flimsy padlock because that’s what it was supplied with or they don’t acknowledge it as a viable target.
⇒ Make sure items that can be used to break into your home are locked away in garages or out-buildings or, in the case of garden furniture where it may not be feasible, position them a good distance from the house.
⇒ Consider a lock on garden gates and high fencing or hedges (within the restrictions of building regulations of course) to prevent people getting in.
⇒ Garden thefts are much more likely under the cover of darkness. Motion sensor or dusk to dawn security lighting will illuminate the garden and deter many intruders.
⇒ It’s harder to approach a property quietly with a gravel drive or path so these are more secure than other surfaces.
⇒ If you have bikes, keep them in a locked shed or garage AND also use a good bike lock, or attach them to something immoveable, as an extra precaution.
⇒ Summer houses have become very popular and they tend to be characterised by large windows and French/patio doors which means everything inside is on full view. Consider bringing in expensive items such as TVs and music players during the winter when you’re not using the summer house so much, or at least get some curtains or blinds to hide contents from sight and have a good lock fitted.
⇒ Additional sensors can be installed to garages and out-buildings to add zones to your house burglar alarm or you can even have an independent alarm installed. You can activate these zones/alarms even when you’re in the house.
Darker nights mean more burglaries
62% of burglaries take place under the cover of darkness and the clocks go back this weekend which means darker evenings are on their way. Statistically speaking, burglaries are likely to increase by around 20% when this happens. Being vigilant with external security will also help maintain your home security as well so it’s really worth following the above advice.
Next week’s theme is Smart Security – a closer look at the new advances in technology that are available to make your home secure.
Do you have a question about outdoor security or any other topic from National Home Security Month? We’re answering your home security questions throughout October so please comment to ask yours or see further details here.