During the Corona Virus lockdown burglary like most crimes decreased dramatically but since the reopening of society burglaries have risen but this ti
During the Corona Virus lockdown burglary like most crimes decreased dramatically but since the reopening of society burglaries have risen but this time they are specifically targeting your garden as more people are now working from home. Believe it or not, your garden is often a top target of burglars as it is usually easier to gain access to and can be full of valuable items which can be quickly sold for cash. Think about all the expensive items people store in their gardens such as bikes, gardening tools, garden ornaments, power tools etc etc, it can be worth a small fortune. We have found this is a major problem in suburban areas with our Locksmith in Dartford being called several times a week to secure sheds and add locks to fences.
Taking steps to beef up the security of your garden can decrease the risk of burglary and possibly even reduce your insurance costs.
Good garden security revolves around 4 primary elements these are:
- Storage & Tidiness
Locks – A good lock on your gate is essential for garden security. The type of lock you will need will depend on your usage of the gate. If you use the gate regularly to enter and exit your garden then you will require something like a long throw gate lock operated by a key. These locks attach to the gate and contain a bolt system and cylinder allowing you to lock the gate with a key from both within your garden and outside. However, if you don’t use your garden to enter your property a simple padlock and bolt will suffice as long as you ensure the padlock is locked when not in use, note this option will only be lockable from within your garden.
Fencing – Fencing are basically the walls of your garden. There are generally 2 rules when it comes to garden security.
Firstly if you have a front garden and you live near a main road it is generally recommended a small fence is used, something around 1.2 meters (4 foot). The primary reason for this is it allows your neighbours and passersby to see the front of your property, deterring criminals as they are in plain sight for everyone to see. The second rule is to have a fence as tall as possible in your back garden. Usually the tallest fence possible without having to attain planning permission is 2 meters (6.5 foot) A tall fence will make it harder for criminals to gain access and to escape. If you have green fingers and want to enhance your fence security even further and make it even harder for criminals to gain entry you could always plant prickly plants such as climbing roses, Rubus (bramble), Smilax Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum), Chaenomeles, Colletia, Crataegus (including hawthorn/may), there is plenty of variety to choose from in all manner of beautiful colours.
Lighting – Having adequate lighting near all accessible windows and doors is an essential deterrent in keeping the burglars out as no burglar wants to be illuminated when trying to break into a property. Lighting will not only illuminate suspicious activity to yourself but will also make the burglar identifiable to your neighbours and passersby. You could purchase lights which stay on all night however this may disturb you and your neighbours alike while also increasing your electricity bills. Instead, we recommend purchasing lights which are activated based on motion, this may give any criminal a surprise when suddenly places them in the limelight. And to save energy and your money we recommend purchasing an LED bulb light as they use significantly less electricity when compared to halogen lights.
Storage & Tidiness – Believe it or not only around half of burglaries are planned approximately 46% are crimes of opportunity. The lesson to be learnt from this is to not leave valuable possessions on display for any tom dick or harry to see and thus have the opportunity to steal. Gardening tools, bikes, power tools, and toys are all favourite items for criminals to steal as they can be worth a small fortune and are relatively easy to sell.
These types of items should be stored safely in your home, garage or a secured shed which can be locked with obscured windows. Bigger items such as BBQs should be covered when not in use and secured to something heavy with heavy-duty chains. You must ensure anything such as ladders or other tools which could be used to gain access to your home is either locked away or secured with a heavy chain and high-security padlock. This also includes garden furniture which criminals may use to climb onto your property. For more information on garden security check out the Hertfordshire Police website.
This post was written by Callan Wells-Raynes at ITCC Locksmiths In London. A London based locksmith with branches in Birmingham & Manchester.