Garden security tips
Garden security tips
When it comes to protecting your home, it’s important not to forget your outside spaces. Garden-related thefts are on the rise, so it’s worth checking whether your garden and its contents are insured. Here are a few tips on how you can keep opportunistic thieves from targeting your property.
What attracts thieves to gardens?
Some items are more attractive to thieves than others, and the most frequently stolen items are:
- garden furniture
- plants/hanging baskets
- garden machinery, such as lawn mowers
But thefts aren’t limited to the obvious. From garden gnomes to oil from your heating storage tanks, anything in your garden could be up for grabs if you make it easy for intruders.
Taking a few measures to make your garden more secure can also help prevent burglars from breaking into your home. Here are our top garden security tips.
Design your boundaries with security in mind
If the boundaries to the front of your property – for example, hedges and fences – are kept low, would-be burglars won’t be able to hide behind them.
Keeping your side and rear boundaries more secure can be as simple as some tactical planting. Opt for spiky or prickly hedging, such as pyracantha, hawthorn or holly, and add a lightweight trellis for extra height and privacy. Diamond design trellis is much more difficult to climb over.
The Met Police advise that front hedges should be under 1 metre high, while side and rear boundaries should be over 1.8 metres.
Keep gates locked
If you have side or rear gates, ensure they’re locked with a strong padlock, as well as a sliding bolt at the bottom. The sight of a locked entry point can be enough to deter thieves from attempting to gain access.
Install outdoor security features
Consider installing a CCTV and alarm system that can be accessed remotely from your smartphone.
Or you can install motion-sensor outdoor lighting that activates when anyone approaches your property. Even a gravel driveway or path can be an effective deterrent because of the noise made by walking on it.
Aside from the obvious benefit, installing a few extra security features at home could help to reduce the cost of your annual home insurance premium, by making you less of an insurance ‘risk’.
Secure your shed and outbuildings
Use your shed and outbuildings to store expensive items, such as power tools, lawnmower, patio heater and bicycles.
But always keep your shed doors and windows locked with secure locks and high-grade padlocks. Consider fitting outbuilding windows with internal metal grills, for added protection. And, if possible, keep the windows covered from the inside to prevent tantalising glimpses of any expensive equipment you have locked away.
Anchor your garden ornaments
Items such as statues, urns and large plant pots can be anchored down by chaining them to a wall or ground bolt. It might also be worth marking these – and any other expensive items – with your postcode, using an invisible UV pen.
Lock away tools and ladders
Don’t leave tools or ladders lying around the garden. Intruders might not just steal them, they could use them to try to break into your home.
Check what’s covered on your home insurance
Check whether your garden contents are covered by your home insurance. Some standard policies don’t cover shrubs or trees, for example.
If appropriate, you should check you have cover for the theft of oil from heating storage tanks, as this is a crime that’s becoming more common with the rise in oil prices.
Read your policy terms and conditions carefully, and take steps to extend your cover should you need it.
How can I find the right home and contents insurance?
Compare the Market can help you find the right policy for your home and garden. By comparing with us, you could save up to £142** on your buildings and contents insurance. All you need to do is tell us a little bit about you and your property and we’ll find you quotes from a range of UK providers, in a matter of minutes.
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £142.00 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.