There are literally hundreds of thousands of garden break-ins and thefts each year in the UK. If you don’t want to fall victim and risk having valuable goods taken from your shed, garage or garden, you need to take immediate steps to secure your garden.
Here are some of the most effective things you can do to secure your garden, sheds and outbuildings from any unwanted intruders…
One of the most effective things you can ever do to secure your garden is to install security lighting. Most garden thieves are opportunistic and most garden thieves do not want to be caught in the act. They rely on the cover of darkness and a lax-level of security to do what they do. By installing lighting, you are telling them that stealing from your garden will be more trouble than it’s worth and that could be enough to stop them in their tracks.
The best kind of lighting to secure your garden is probably floodlighting. Floodlights that come on when they sense movement in the garden will not only shock any would-be thieves, but it will also alert you to the fact that someone is on your property, so you can take appropriate action to deal with the threat.
These days, you can get wireless security lights which are more easily installed than wired versions, and even smart security light systems like the Ring Floodlight security cam, which will alert you to any activity and enable you to check it out on your smartphone, but even basic security lights will be pretty effective.
Set Up Security Cameras
Security cameras are perfect for keeping an eye on the garden even when you’re indoors. They will enable you to watch over your garden, and they will also capture any evidence of break-ins and thefts should your security be breached.
It’s never been easier to set up security cameras on your property thanks to the increase in wireless technology, which has made the process simple and affordable. When installing security cameras in the garden, you’re going to want to ensure that you place them so that they’re facing the areas that thieves are most likely to use such as the gates, fences that back onto the street and of course pointing towards sheds and other valuable items.
If you can combine security cameras with floodlights, perhaps by using the Ring Floodlight Cam motion-activated security camera and floodlight mentioned above, then you will have yourself a really effective deterrent to garden theft.
Higher Fences and Gates
If you have low fences that can easily be jumped or climbed over, your garden is going to be less secure than the gardens of your neighbours whose fences are six foot higher or more. So, if you can afford to do so, it may be worth thinking about installing much higher fences and gates. You can get some really pretty tall fences, so you won’t have to compromise on design. However, you may want to weigh up the benefits of being able to better secure your garden with any potential loss of light that comes from a higher fence if that is an issue that you are likely to be faced with because there are plenty of other security measures you can put in place to counteract a lack of secure fencing.
If your gate doesn’t already have a lock get one. Adding a lock is adding just one more barrier that intruders must breach in order to get to your stuff and it could be just enough to put them off from even trying.
Just as you can buy security alarms for your home, you can buy alarm systems for your shed too. Choose an alarm that has a powerful high-pitched sound, so that you are more likely to hear it from indoors.
You may also want to add a wireless motion detector, which can be connected to your smartphone, to the shed so that you can be immediately alerted should someone try to break in.
Placing deterrent stickers that warn your shed is alarmed on its doors and windows is a low-cost alternative that may be enough to put thieve off, although it is obviously less secure than actually having an alarm installed AND using the stickers.
Mark Your Belongings
Okay, so this one won’t technically prevent any thefts from your garden, but in the unlikely event that crafty thieves should get around all of the other security measures mentioned in this post, it will help you to get your belongings back.
All you need to do is mark any valuable belongings in your garden or shed, such as barbecues, lawnmowers and tools, with an ultra-violet pen. Write your house number, postcode and surname, and then should the culprits be caught, you’ll be able to be reunited with your stolen items.
It may also be a good idea to take photographs of your items so that they can be more easily identified should they be found.
Install a Lockable Pond Cover
If you have a pond that’s filled with valuable fish, it would be a really good idea to purchase a lockable pond cover, because even your fish aren’t safe. Sadly, there has been a rise in the number of valuable pond species like Koi carp that are being stolen, and that is the last thing you want to happen to your much-loved fish.
Repair and Replace
Something that’s often overlooked when it comes to garden security is the condition in which vital parts of the garden, namely gates and sheds, are kept in. The fact is it will be difficult to secure your garden properly if the gate is in a state of disrepair and can easily be breached, perhaps because the lock doesn’t work properly, or it’s come off its hinges. Similarly, if your sheds are in a bad state of disrepair it will be easier for thieves to get into them too. So, make a point of inspecting them at least once every 3 months, and make any repairs or replacements as and when necessary.
It’s also a good idea to replace any padlocks that are rusty because although they may appear to be functional, an experienced burglar may find it very easy to breach them. When you replace them, choose the strongest, most weatherproof alternatives that you can find.
If you have a shed with windows, or maybe even a summerhouse, it’s a really good idea to hang curtains or blinds in the windows, so that passersby cannot see what you have in there. If you have a lot of high-value stuff that’s easy to see in the shed, it could prove to be too great a temptation to would-be thieves.
If you have any valuable statues or ornaments in your garden, buy a simple wireless alarm that will go off should anyone attempt to remove them. The shock of the alarm could be enough to scare thieves off, and if not, at least it will alert you to their attempts to remove your goods from the garden.
Use Tree Anchors
It may surprise you to hear that tree theft is not all that uncommon. If you have any valuable trees on your property, they could become a target and you should think about this as you endeavour to secure your garden. One of the best solutions for keeping trees safe is the tree anchor.
Tree anchors are designed to keep your trees as secure in the ground as possible, They connect to the root ball and firmly anchor trees in place. This means that anyone who would try to steal your trees would find it far harder to do and would most likely abandon their efforts in favour of an easier mark.
Planting thorny, prickly shrubs and plants, like rose bushes, around the perimeter of your garden is a simple, but surprisingly effective, not to mention pretty, way of deterring thieves. Obviously, planting prickly shrubs alone isn’t going to be enough to secure your garden, but as an additional measure, it is a good thing to do and could really help with your all over garden security strategy.
Consider Wall Spikes
If you have a wall that is low enough for people to potentially climb over, consider installing wall spikes, which make doing that much more difficult. It’s easy to climb up onto a smooth wall, but when there are numerous iron spikes jutting out at various angles, this becomes a much tougher prospect.
If you’re worried about how wall spikes might look, there is no need to because you can buy lots of very attractive spikes that actually become a decorative feature in their own right.
If you do decide to install wall spikes then make sure you display a warning sign so that people know what they are getting themselves into should they decide to climb your wall anyway.
Beware of the Dog Signs
Something that many homeowners do to help secure their garden is put up beware of the dog signs whether they have a or not. Dogs are often very territorial and they will not stand for having intruders on their patch, so it can be a good way of dissuading would-be thieves from hitting up your garden. Obviously a beware the rottweiler sign is going to be more effective than a beware of the chihuahua one if you go down this route, so choose your signage wisely, and bear in mind that this might work in daylight, but in the dead of night when dogs are typically indoors, it will be less effective.
Clear Things Away
It’s a really obvious point, but if you want to prevent thefts from your garden, the smart thing to do is clear your things way after you have used them, preferably locking them away for extra security. It’s easy to grab a lawnmower that’s been left out in the garden even for a few minutes, but far harder to take it from a secure shed!
As you can see, there are tons of things you can do to make your garden more secure, and although you may not want to implement them at all, you should at the very least make efforts to safely lock any garden valuables away and ensure that shed and gate locks are in good working condition. Anything else you do is a bonus, but the more you do, the more secure your garden will be and with so many of these options now being so affordable, there really is no reason not to put them in place.