Many people take home security seriously. Protecting your property and its contents is something that is usually a priority for homeowners. However, it’s common for people to overlook one crucial area when caring for their homes – garden security. Not only does the garden offer a potentially easy access point to the rest of your house, but many of us store valuable items that can be potential targets for thieves.
In our garden security guide, we look at why it’s important to improve your garden security. We also run down some of our top tips to keep your garden, and your home, safe.
Garden security is an area where many homes need improvement
Many of us take our gardens for granted. Yet whether it’s a large garden or a small terrace area, the space outside your home can be a target for thieves. A recent study in the UK by The Office of National Statistics showed that theft from gardens has risen by a staggering 23% since 2017[i]. This means there were an additional 112,000 offences during that time.
Such a figure shows why improving your garden security is essential. Even if you think that you have nothing of interest to potential thieves in your back yard, you’d be surprised what gets taken. A survey by Hive Home outlined the top ten items stolen from UK gardens, which included:
Some of these are more obvious than others, but the theft of any could be upsetting. Of course, other damage to your garden can also occur alongside an intrusion, which can undo many hours of hard work.
It’s also important to remember that your garden can give access to the rear of your home. This means that insurance companies often require you to take the necessary steps to secure your property.
Thankfully, there are many quick ways that you can improve the security of your garden. Many of these fixes are inexpensive and can be completed within a day:
There is a variety of different locks you can choose from and several different areas that you can implement them. Not only do locks give you some added peace of mind, but they also deter any potential thieves. Here are some that you can consider:
Locks are an effective way of keeping intruders out of your garden
Garden fences are an essential line of defence when it comes to your garden security. So much so, that UK Police Crime Prevention outlines how vital a fence in good repair is. There are several reasons for this advice: they act as a deterrent, they keep your garden private, and they can create enough noise to warn you of any would-be intruders.
It’s worth noting that any type of fence that’s over 2m tall will most likely need planning permission. Similarly, it’s against the law to use anything that’s potentially unsafe (even to intruders) such as barbed wire. However, you can use prickly plants and grow hedges alongside your fence, which act as an additional barrier. You can also install a trellis for plants at the top.
It’s important to regularly maintain any fence on your property. This upkeep includes staining the wood and repairing any damaged fence panels.
A well-maintained fence is essential to your garden’s security
One of the biggest deterrents to garden intruders is the presence of lights. Not only that, but they also provide some much-needed illumination if you’re in your garden on a night. There are several options available when it comes to outdoor lighting, including:
Any of these types of lights can be effectively used to improve the security of your garden, giving you increased peace of mind. Make sure to test and regularly maintain them to ensure maximum effectiveness.
It’s also worth noting that many modern lights also come equipped with CCTV recorders. Although these are expensive, they’re one of the most effective ways of staying safe.
Even simple lights can make your garden less of a target
When most people think of alarms, house security is the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s also possible to improve your garden’s defences with alarms, and there are many products designed with this in mind.
One of the most common ways to do so is with a shed alarm, assuming you keep your garden valuables in there. These come in a range of forms, including wireless shed alarms, motion sensor alarms, and more.
Even if you only keep your tools in the shed, potential intruders could use them to gain access to your main property. An alarm gives you an extra layer of deterrent and security, especially when combined with a sturdy lock.
Most of the suggestions we’ve covered so far have been reasonably intuitive. However, one surprising way to improve the security outside of your home is to gravel your driveway and paths.
It’s hard for anyone to move quietly on gravel, which can instantly be off-putting to any would-be burglars. You don’t have to be excessive with your placement – it’s not always the most visually appealing material. However, by using it at strategic points, such as around entrances, doors, and windows, you can create an instant deterrent.
Gravel is noisy, making it impossible for anyone to creep around your garden
If you are concerned about your valuable items being stolen, making them can improve your chances of them being recovered. There are a couple of main ways you can do so:
Another useful way of marking your valuables is to take photographs of them. Remember, don’t leave anything valuable out in your garden unattended, even if you’ve taken precautionary measures.
If you can’t lock your valuable items away, you can make sure that they’re impossible to take. By anchoring objects together, you can prevent anyone from stealing them.
For example, garden benches make an excellent anchor point, as you can attach locks and chains to them from other items. Similarly, waste and recycling bins can be effective. Although not as heavy as garden benches, they make plenty of noise when moved.
Garden benches are ideal for anchoring down other items in your garden
There are many excellent reasons to get a dog (if you like them!). As well as all the obvious ones, they’re also a huge deterrent for anyone looking to gain entry to your premises. In fact, they’re so effective, other than CCTV cameras, burglars are most likely to be put off breaking into homes by them.
If your dog stays outside during the day, it’s unlikely anyone will try and enter your garden. And, on a night, they will often react to any noises they hear outside. Dogs can provide an excellent alarm backup in this sense.
Breed like German Shepherds make great pets and ideal guards
There’s never a bad time to start making improvements to the overall security of your home. Even minor changes can save you from the heartache and hassle of being targeted for theft. Although people often overlook the garden as a potential place for upgrades, doing so can effectively protect your overall property.
Most of the methods covered here are inexpensive and can be completed with relative ease. Make sure that you carry out the necessary research and preparation before you take on any project. In no time, you can have the added peace of mind of a secure garden.
Hivehome.com (2019). Gnome Sweet Gnome [online] Hive Blog. Available at: https://www.hivehome.com/blog/connected-home/gnome-sweet-gnome
IKS Locksmiths (2019). What is the Best Lock for a Garden Gate? [online] IKS Locksmiths. Available at: https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/what-is-best-lock-for-garden-gate/
KeyTek Locksmiths (2019). Ultimate Guide to Home Security [online] KeyTek Locksmiths. Available at: https://www.keytek.co.uk/ultimate-home-security-guide/garden-security/
Ons.gov.uk (2017). Overview of burglary and other household theft: England and Wales [online] Office for National Statistics. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/overviewofburglaryandotherhouseholdtheft/englandandwales
Police.UK (2019). Burglary [online] Police UK. Available at: https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/
Theguardian.com (2017). Former burglars say barking dogs and CCTV are best deterrent [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/18/former-burglars-barking-dogs-cctv-best-deterrent
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.