If you’re a regular reader of the weekly Commander’s bulletin you will notice that thefts from sheds, outbuildings and within the garden feature regularly in the list of recent crimes committed across Perth and Kinross; this week is no different. A number of these thefts could be prevented if home owners took some simple steps to secure their garden, shed and garage.
What can I do to stop thieves entering and stealing from my garden?
- Keep hedges, walls and fences low at the front of the property – to a maximum of 1.2 metres high and in a good state of repair to allow natural surveillance and make it hard for an intruder to work unseen. Prevent easy access to the back and sides by installing locked gates. Rear fences and walls should be a minimum 1.8 to 2 metres in height. Trellis topping or an intruder deterrent strip should also be considered to make climbing difficult.
- Consider nature’s own defences – growing aggressive shrubbery which is harder for intruders to climb through. Ideal plants include berberis, blue spruce, common holly, giant rhubarb, golden bamboo, firethorn, shrub rose, pencil Christmas tree, juniper and rubus (bramble).
- Security lighting around your property will act as a deterrent. Dusk to dawn low voltage LED lighting is cost effective to both install and run.
- Make sure bins are located in an area which doesn’t allow them to be easily used as a step to climb over fences / walls or access windows.
- Lock away any garden implements, furniture or tools in a secure shed, garage or outside store. They may not only be an attractive target for theft, but also items such as ladders which are useful for breaking into your home.
What can I do to protect property in my shed and garage?
- Photograph valuable items of garden furniture and / or garden tools. Note and keep a record of make, model, colour and serial numbers and use a UV pen or similar to security mark them with your house number and postcode.
- You may wish to use a chain or other device to lock garden tools and furniture together to the structure which will make them harder to remove.
- Fit a good quality hasp and padlock to the door, fitted with dome headed or non-returnable screws to prevent tampering. Appropriate products that are approved as ‘Sold Secure’ or ‘Secured by Design’ should be considered. For more information visit www.securedbydesign.com
- Secure windows and don’t give intruders the opportunity to see inside. Depending on the type of window, you could consider fitting internal window grills, heavy wire mesh or reinforced glass. You could also use curtains or opaque film. If the window opens, a window lock should be fitted.
- If you have an intruder alarm, consider extending it to cover sheds, garages and outbuildings and ensure that there is a visible external sounder box.
- If you do not have a secure shed then bring items inside – don’t leave them lying out.
- If your garage adjoins your home and there is a through door, keep it locked.