IT’S NOT ONLY GREEN FINGERED
PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR GARDEN
What can you do?
SHEDS AND OTHER SMALL BUILDINGS
Many people take a great deal of trouble securing their house and the property within it whilst at the same time leaving valuable property in a shed which is either unlocked or so old and run down as to prove no obstacle whatsoever to the thief.
to stand up to a security test. If not then take steps to improve it or don’t leave valuable items, such as a lawn mower inside.
- Ensure that your shed is in a good condition
2 Once the fabric of the building is sound you can then improve physical security:-
(a) Fit a good lock on the shed door.
A little expense can be money well spent and may help with insurance claims later if the worst does happen. The fittings should be bolted through the door of the shed and reinforced at the back with a steel plate. The hasp should have concealed screws.
(b) The padlock itself should be not less than 2.5ins in width and made of hardened steel. The lock should have no less than five pins. A closed shackle type will reduce the risk of the lock being forced. Any locksmith or good DIY shop will advise you on the strongest available. If you already have a small padlock, change it now – it could save you time and money in the future.
(c) Fit any windows with a grille fixed to steel plates inside the shed. Remember, it is no good securing the door if the windows are an easy target. At the very least consider fitting reinforced glass or impact value acrylic, and a good lock if the window opens.
Fitting a simple, low cost, battery operated shed alarm, or personal alarm, to the door of your shed or garage will warn of any attempted intrusion to your property and will stop the thief in his tracks.
Much of this advice should also be applied to a garage if you have one.
Gardening tools and furniture are not cheap, what’s more they are very saleable items for the thief. Don’t make it easy to steal them and remember that tools stolen from your shed could be used to burgle your house.
- Postcode all property such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and garden furniture. Postcoding can be done with ultra-violet marker pens, engraving, stamping or even paint. Property marking may not stop the items being taken, but it could dissuade a thief if you advertise the fact that your property is coded and it will certainly improve the chances of tracing the items and perhaps catching the thief
- Take photographs of any valuable garden ornaments. If they are stolen, Police can circulate the photo to dealers who can then look out for your property.
- Never leave items unattended, especially valuable ones, even if you are just popping into the house – remember you may be gone for a minute but they may be gone forever.
- If you leave items such as pedal cycles in your garage or shed, ensure that they are postcoded and chain them to the super-structure of the building.
A little bit of effort can save a lot of grief
Not only should your property be secure but you can also make it difficult for the thief to get to it.
- A low cost security measure are lights fitted with sodium tubes which come on when it gets dark and turn themselves off when it gets light – they cost less than 1p a night to run! This is especially important in dark areas of your garden. Don’t under-estimate the effect of good lighting as a crime prevention measure.
- Keep shrub, hedges and large plants cut back they can provide a screen for thieves to work behind.
- Check your boundary fences, walls and gates. Keep them in good repair as they do provide a useful barrier to the would-be-thief. The harder it is for him to get in, the more suspicious his actions look to others.
- Get your neighbours to always keep an eye on your garden at all times of the day and night. You can do the same for them. Report anything suspicious to the Police as soon as possible. Remember – it’s not being nosey, it’s being sensible.
- Laying a thick gravel path makes it impossible for the thief to approach without making a noise and is a good crime reduction alternative to slabs and monoblock.
Allotments are harder to protect but much of the above advice can be applied to them. Get to know your neighbours on the allotment – if they know you they are more likely to be suspicious if someone else is in your plot. Remember – don’t leave expensive equipment on site if you can avoid it.
PLEASE BE ‘SHEDUCATED’
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