Your garden is the first line of defence against potential break-ins and by enhancing its security, you will deter better any attempts of intruders accessing your property. Furthermore, you probably keep some valuable items outdoors and in your garden shed, which can entice a burglar to sneak in if those are in view or not protected properly.

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So, this post can help you improve the security of your garden and this way, of your home, as well, if:

  • You had trouble with thieves in the past;
  • You worry that your backyard needs more to make you feel safe;
  • You live in a crime-ridden area;
  • Your neighbours got burgled and you don’t want the same fate;
  • You’re generally apprehensive about how secure your property is.

From ensuring that you can see and hear an unwanted stranger getting into your backyard to protecting better your belongings and plant life, there are heaps of things that you can do to boost the security of your garden:

  1. Reinforce your fence. Repair/replace broken panels, furnish your fence with spikes or position large plant pots along your fence border with the street.
  2. Plant a green barrier. Plant defensive plant varieties around vulnerable areas, install a trellis over your fence to support climbing plants or consider growing a thick hedge to protect your garden.
  3. Gravel your driveway. Medium-sized gravel, laid over garden paths and your driveway, will notify you every time an intruder sets foot in your private green space.
  4. Install garden lights. Light up your garden at night by fitting motion sensor outdoor lighting.
  5. Secure your shed. Make sure to improve the security of your garden shed by fitting the door with a sturdy padlock and keeping your valuable tools in a security box.
  6. Fit an alarm system. Install a security alarm system to stay safe. Make sure it covers all outbuildings and entry points to sheds, garages, garden cabins and workshops.
  7. Keep gates locked. Ensure backyard gates are padlocked and driveway entries – secured, as well.

How to increase garden security

Now then, let’s explore the ways of enhancing the security of your garden in more detail:

Green border barriers

If you already have a thick hedge surrounding your property, make sure you address weak points and gaps at the base by investigating if they have appeared due to pest issues or disease. Treat problem areas and temporarily secure potential entry points by placing large plant pots in front of openings in the hedge. Keep the front garden hedge low in height to deter burglars from feeling comfortable accessing your property undisturbed.

Defensive plants

Thorny shrubs, prickly roses and thick vegetation, strategically planted near exposed entry points, ill-protected windows and hard features that can be easily climbed over, can boost your property security without a doubt.

If you are too busy to plant and look after your defensive greenery, let the gardening and outdoor maintenance experts from Fantastic Services give you a helping hand with this one.

Fences and walls

As you probably know, British law allows property owners to protect their homes with a fence or a wall that is up to 2 metres in height, without the need for a planning permission approval. If your hard boundary feature stands lower than this, you can consider fitting in a trellis (which also has some sound absorbing abilities) on top or install a wire, which can support climbing defensive plants, such as roses or firethorns (Pyracantha).

Furthermore, a wall can be furnished with plants in containers, placed next to each other in a line. No thief will attempt to climb over such a barrier that will inevitably produce plenty of noise.

You can also opt for fitting your fence with spikes or prikka strips, however, avoid using barb wire, as you may have to deal with legal issues at a later point. Ensure to place a warning sign, in any case, to prevent, say, a none-the-wiser child from injuring themselves. Whatever you decide to use for extending the height of your border fixture, beware that it should not exceed the legally-permitted 2-metre mark.

Replace damaged fence panels and fix crumbling stone wall spots. Don’t forget that you can install a new sturdy fence on your side of the property should an intruder sees the opportunity to access your garden through a weakened point in the fence you share with your neighbour. Or in other words, you don’t need to go into disputes with them over any fence repairs responsibilities.

Light your garden up

Motion-triggered lights, fitted near key garden features and outbuildings are a good security measure against potential break-ins. In addition, light up areas near thick plant foliage and in dark corners of your green space. You can install solar LED lights along pathways, around garden features, and next to your shed, etc.

Ensure that any security movement detection lighting systems are installed correctly so that the light doesn’t prevent you from actually seeing a possible intruder. And of course, consider your immediate neighbours, who wouldn’t be ecstatic if dazzled by it once it’s been triggered.

Keep garden gates secure

This is no brainer but folks could place more effort in keeping their back garden gate properly locked. It’s a good idea to fit the entry feature with two solid padlocks – one at the top and one at the bottom of the gate. The same applies to garage doors that can provide access to the inside of your home. Your garden cabin or shed should be also protected with a good quality locking system, as well. Keep overhanging branches trimmed to deny burglars the opportunity to use them to climb over the gate or fence.

Use gravel to your advantage

Consider introducing hardscape surfaces in spots that naturally generate noise when walked onto. A prospective unwanted guest can easily sneak in unnoticed if walking over garden paving stones or across your lawn. Hence, it’s wise if you lay gravel over paths that lead to your shed and property entrance door. The same goes for your driveway and garden, even if they have been safeguarded by a solid gate.

Invest in a security alarm system

What type of security device you choose to install will largely depend on the size of your garden, its position, regarding neighbouring properties and the street, as well as on whether you have expensive items, garden furniture and features, placed out in the open. From passive infra-red motion sensor audible alarm systems to high-resolution CCTV systems that can provide you with evidence in the case of a break-in attempt, the security alarm options on the market are more than aplenty.

What you can do to protect valuable items

How to protect their garden features, expensive tools, exotic/pricey plants and pots, as well as any outdoor furniture and garden ornaments is often on people’s minds, as burglars commonly target this type of property, rather than risk audaciously getting into the actual house. Those, with the ill intention of getting their hands on something of value, will do so with minimum risk involved. A thief or a burglar will opportunistically eye and steal an item that is an easy target.

One thing you can do to protect your valuables is to tag them with your postcode. You can either use a UV marker or engrave it. Then, register your items in the national property register used by police in their tracing efforts of stolen goods.

So, read on and check how to safeguard your belongings, located:

Out in the open

Below, we list various items that you might have in the garden, which need to be secured, locked out of sight, or bolted permanently with a floor or wall anchor, etc. Just make sure that you fasten inconspicuously lightweight benches, tables and chairs, which can be easily picked up and moved, with a chain to a nearby wall or to a hard exterior surface.  

  • Furniture, garden benches, marquees and umbrellas;
  • Bicycles, scooters and hoverboards;
  • BBQs, rainwater collectors, ladders;
  • Garden gnomes, figurines and statues.

If you are interested in what are the most common items that get stolen from UK’s garden, check this article.

In your garden shed

Secure valuable tools and garden equipment in your shed by making it hard for an intruder to get into, as we recommended earlier in the post. Invest in a sturdy security box or safe to keep your most expensive power tools and gadgets. Also, reinforce windows by installing bars.

As we’ve pointed out already, your shed will be less of a target if you make sure that you can see and hear a burglar trying to break in and check out what’s easily available to grab and steal. Security lights and a quality alarm, along with a gravel path leading to the shed, is all you need to change any burglar’s mind…

It’s a good idea to inspect your shed for any cracks and gaps which may help any potential intruder to break in. While on it, get a good look of the roof. If the work is out of your reach, see how Fantastic Services can help you out.

Click more to learn about our shed assembly and repair service and to schedule a survey.

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What about plant life and pots

Chain your hanging baskets to the house wall with sturdy brackets, as you can be surprised what people report missing from their gardens. Large flower pots can be bolted to the ground or cemented in place without much effort, too.

Expensive new shrubs and young trees can be secured by planting them through chicken wire, which is subsequently covered with soil and bark mulch. It is not unheard of arrogant thieves digging out pricey plant life with the intention to sell it on.

What is Secured By Design?

Secured By Design is a police organisation cooperating with the police in the UK. Their mission is to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and garden layouts and help people live in a safer society. Learn more about SBD and what they do.

Takeaways

As you can see, by applying some thought and clever ideas on securing your garden and its contents, be it plants, features or furniture, you can achieve that sense of safe haven without disrupting the aesthetic look of your green space. To sum up what you should do to improve the security and safe feel of your backyard oasis, here are our final thoughts and takeaways:

  • Don’t attract potential burglars by providing them with an easy cover – keep vegetation in strategic spots and around entry points low.
  • “Out of sight, out of mind” – lock securely valuable belongings. A thief can’t be tempted by something that they cannot see or know of its existence.
  • Come to an arrangement with your neighbours to keep a watchful eye over your respective properties whenever you or they are away on holiday.
  • Invest in an extra insurance cover that protects you against garden theft, as well.
  • Never install dangerous security devices without a clear and visible warning sign. After all, one’s health is far more valuable than any piece of furniture or a set of tools.
  • Always resort to professional help when it comes to fitting electrical alarm/video surveillance security systems, outdoor lighting installations and complex locking devices.
  • Consider getting a house sitter if you’re going to be absent from home for more than a few days.

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Did you find this post of any help? Then, why not share it with your friends? Also, please, leave your comments and tips on how you’ve secured your garden against potential break-ins!

Header image source: Shutterstock / Ulf Wittrock

  • Last update: July 8, 2019

Posted in Home Improvement, Home Security and Safety Tips

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