Whether you’re out pottering every weekend or barely step out until the summer months, your garden can contain thousands of pounds worth of items; from plants and power tools to barbecues and benches.
Outdoor spaces, sheds, garages and outbuildings are often seen as easy targets, so it’s important you protect them as best you can.
Thieves know that sheds can be packed full of expensive items, like power tools and pedal bikes. So, keep your shed or outbuilding locked securely whenever it’s not in use, especially overnight.
You could buy a shed alarm and, if your shed has windows, think about adding extra protection with laminate sheets so they’re difficult to break. Keep expensive tools in lockable cupboards or cabinets inside your shed.
Keep fences, hedges and walls at the front of your property under a metre high, so potential thieves are unable to hide behind them. Install higher fencing that’s difficult to climb over at the back of your house . (UK police forces generally recommend around 1.8 metres high).
Consider putting up a trellis as a topping to your fence and plant spiky shrubs, along garden fences and walls to act as further barriers to entry.
Keep your fence in a good state of repair. Old or rotten wood is easy to break into.
Gates should be heavy, durable and lockable, the same size as your fencing (1.8m) and preferably fitted with two locks (top and bottom). Keep your gates, including ones on the side of your home, locked at all times, even when you’re at home. Choose a design that prevents any potential thieves from getting a good hand or foothold to climb the gate.
If you don’t have a shed or outbuilding to store your valuables in overnight, then consider investing in a garden storage unit. You can buy them in a size to suit small tools and foldaway garden chairs, or large enough to house your lawnmower and barbecue.
Bikes are usually covered by your home insurance if they’re stolen or damaged at home. But there’ll be a limit on what an insurer will pay out. This is - often around £500.
If your bike is worth more than that (and many are these days) you might want to take out specialist bike insurance as an add-on to your policy. This will provide a higher limit of cover and protect your bikes away from home, too.
Keeping bikes locked away is vital as they’re a popular target for thieves. If you don’t have a shed or garage, then you could invest in a bike storage shed - a lockable secure unit - to keep in the garden.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to be sure your bike is stored securely at home for your policy to be valid. Check your documents to make sure your security measures comply with your policy’s requirements.
Many thieves are opportunists, so don’t leave valuable items, like patio heaters, out in the garden overnight. Lock them away in a shed or outbuilding
If that’s not possible, hide them from view or cover with tarpaulin
Secure garden furniture to the floor with ground anchor
Don’t leave ladders or wheelie bins next to fencing or garden walls as thieves could use them to gain entry to your garden
Install security lights, motion sensors and a home alarm system
Heavy planters are difficult to move but for extra security you can secure pots to the ground with chains or bolts
Gravel flooring means any intruder will struggle to keep silent if they approach your home and garden