Home Security and Safety Tips

7 Things That Will Boost Your Garden Security

If you think that your shed is filled with junk that no one needs, you are wrong. You might not even know about it, but burglars might have already spotted those expensive tool kits sitting in your garden shed. Or the new bikes that your kids asked you to buy for quite some time but have ridden only once, and now they stay unattended under the outdoor steps. Those are only a few things that might seem attractive to burglars. You shouldn’t underestimate the necessity of garden security.

Besides, your garden is the first line of defence against potential house break-ins. By enhancing its security, you will deter any attempts of intruders accessing your property and protect your family and yourself from feeling insecure in your own house.

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So, if you: 

  • Think that your garden needs improved security measures;
  • Are looking for shed security ideas;
  • Need some help with securing your garden fence;
  • Had some troubles with burglars in the past and want to improve your garden security.

Then this post will serve you well. Let’s jump right into the tips!

Create barriers for entry

Did you know that almost half of UK homeowners that have experienced a burglary at least once have not improved their security measures? And this is a big mistake. According to Metropolitan Police, burglars are most likely to return to a place that they have attempted to break in. By failing to improve your security measures, you are literally asking the burglars to come in! However, there are certain things that burglar try to avoid:

Defensive plants

Thorny shrubs, prickly roses and thick vegetation, strategically planted near exposed entry points and hard features that can be easily climbed over, can boost your property security without a doubt. But this doesn’t mean that with all the thorny vegetation your garden will look like a witch house. It is quite easy to create a garden design that will not only protect you from unwanted guests but look aesthetically pleasing. Here is the list of the plants we recommend putting:

  • Yucca;
  • Blackthorn;
  • Berberis;
  • Robinia;
  • Pyracantha;
  • Creeping Juniper;
  • Dwarf Spruce;
  • English Holly;
  • Shrub Rose;
  • Hardy Orange.

As you can see, the plant that you choose should be thorny and dense. Thorny security fencing will make the intruders think twice before entering your garden. 

However, there are two things that you have to remember when implementing thorny plants in your garden design – kids and pets. Make sure that you think of your own use of the garden. 

If you have a thick hedge surrounding your property, make sure you address weak points and gaps at the base. Investigate the hedges on any new holes that might have appeared due to pest issues or disease.

If you have tall trees, keep overhanging branches trimmed to deny burglars the opportunity to use them to climb over the gate or fence.

Moreover, burglars don’t like to be seen. By keeping the front garden hedge low in height you deter burglars from feeling comfortable accessing your property.

If you need help with your gardening project, make sure to check our professional Design and Landscaping services.

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 planning permission. 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. 

Keep in mind, as you install perimeter security that can potentially harm someone, even intruders, you owe a duty of care to them. 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.

Before building any fencing around your property, always check the regulations with your local authority. If you need to acquire planning permission, you can do it here.

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. Light up areas near thick plant foliage and in dark corners of your green space to deter any invaders. Remember, burglars avoid to be seen. You can install solar LED lights along pathways, around garden features, 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.

Secure your garden with locks 

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 solid locks – one at the top and one at the bottom of the gate – to secure your garden gate. Consider installing a mortice deadlock or any other high-security locks, that are tested for the most common burglary attacks. 

The same applies to garage doors that can provide access to your home. If your garage door is not secure enough, you might opt for a roller shutter or an up-and-over garage door. And don’t forget about the door between the garage and your dwelling! Proper locks can win some time for police to stop the intruders. 

Your garden cabin or shed should be protected with a good quality locking system, as well. More on that a bit later in the post. 

Use gravel to your advantage

Medium-sized gravel, laid over garden paths and your driveway, will notify you every time an intruder sets foot in your private green space. 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. 

Modern security systems have various features that will allow you to reach top levels of security. From passive infra-red motion sensors 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. 

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:

Out in the open

Below, you will find a list of various items, which need to be secured, locked out of sight, or bolted permanently with a floor or wall anchor, etc. These items are quite popular among garden thieves. 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.

  • DIY and garden tools;
  • Lawnmowers, strimmers;
  • Furniture, garden benches, marquees and umbrellas;
  • Bicycles, scooters and hoverboards;
  • BBQs, rainwater collectors, ladders;
  • Garden gnomes, figurines and statues, children’s toys.

What about plant life and pots

  • Chain your hanging baskets to the house wall with sturdy brackets. 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. Burglars might use your pots to break windows to gain access to your property. That is why you have to make sure that those won’t be able to be moved;
  • 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.

Secure your garden shed

Sheds are one of the most common targets for thieves and burglars. Because homeowners tend to believe that they don’t have anything valuable to steal from their sheds, the majority of back garden structures fail to comply with the proper security measures. Here is what you can do to avoid becoming the next theft victim: 

  • Remove the tools from visible spots. By leaving tools lying in the open, you literally provide intruders with a tool to break in. The tools can be easily used to prise off the hinges on sheds or break off a padlock;
  • Protected valuable tools and garden equipment. Invest in a sturdy security box or safe to keep your most expensive power tools and gadgets. 
  • Reinforce windows by installing bars. Because burglars target the properties that don’t have strong enough security measures, window bars can become a deterring element on your shed.
  • Improve your security measures. 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, security locks, along with a gravel path leading to the shed, is all you need to change any burglar’s mind.
  • Inspect your shed for any structural weaknesses which may help any potential intruder to break in. Cracks, gaps, rotten desks, rusty screws and other structural defects should be taken care of. You don’t want to find out that your lawnmower was stolen because the hinges were too loose. While on it, get a good look of the roof. If the work seems too hard to do on your own, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.
  • Get a dog. A loyal friend, that will always be by your side. Isn’t it a dream of everyone out there? By having a pet that will be trained to protect against intruders, you will ensure the security of your property. However, remember that your pet should be trained properly to be a guard dog.

Want to improve the security of your shed?

As you already know, to be secure your shed needs to be regularly maintained. However, replacing all the rotten boards and rusty screws might require more time than you think. A long project can as well weaken the security of your shed, exposing all the expensive tools to the burglars. In this situation, a great solution will be to hire professionals who know how to handle shed assembly and repairs.

We, at Fantastic Services, know how to bring your shed in good shape in the shortest time possible. No rusty nail or screw will be left unreplaced! In addition, the experienced locksmiths will make sure that you have the locks that go along with the structure of the shed door and comply with the latest security standards. What are you waiting for? Book your shed installation and repair service now!

Thinking of repairing a shed? Or maybe installing a new one?

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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 helpful? Then, don’t hesitate to share it with 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

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