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Garden security hints and tips

Five ways to keep your garden safe and secure

Security camera facing the garden

Summer is the prime time for garden thefts as thieves take advantage of the longer days. So what can you do to stop them stealing your prized garden possessions?

Your home insurance may pay out for some items that are stolen or damaged during a break in, but stopping the culprits is always better than clearing up after them.

1. Build a boundary

A solid fence covered in thorny climbers or a thick hedge surrounding your property will make even the most determined burglar think twice. However, the Met Police suggest that fencing should be no more than a metre tall at the front of your property so there's a clear view if anyone tries to enter that way.

Where you can, put gravel down so that any intruders can be heard. Consider installing motion sensitive lighting that comes on when someone enters the garden.

Also, regularly cut back overhanging trees so they can't be used to climb over walls or fences. And keep vegetation trimmed so it won't become a place to hide.

2. Secure the shed

A shed is a magnet for a thief as it contains many high value items, such as bicycles, mowers and garden tools.

Secure your shed with a heavy-duty padlock that is difficult to break off. Fixing locks top and bottom will help deter a thief, as it will take them longer to get in.

Remember to secure windows too and obscure the glass in the window so your valuable garden tools aren't on display.

If the thief does get in to the shed, make it difficult for them to actually take anything. Keep tools in a lockable box that is bolted to the floor and padlock bikes and mowers together.

Consider marking high value items with SmartWater. That way, if they are ever recovered after a break in, they can be traced back to you.

Remember to secure windows too and obscure the glass in the window so your valuable garden tools aren't on display.

3. Plant pots, statues and garden furniture

With tools and bicycles, it's fairly easy to lock them up somewhere secure. With large plant pots, outdoor furniture, water features and statues, it's often not possible. This makes them a target for garden thieves.

There are several things you can do to help stop these expensive items being stolen:

  • Fit motion detectors that sense when an item is being moved and emit an alarm.
  • Install garden lighting that spotlights your statues. No thief wants to be in the spotlight.
  • Put your postcode on it. Simple but effective way to identify the items as yours.

4. Alarms and CCTV

If you live in an area that's particularly vulnerable to garden thefts or you have valuable art or stoneware in your garden, you could consider installing an alarm or CCTV.

These act as a real deterrent to thieves, although they can also advertise the fact that you have something worth stealing.

If you install a CCTV system, make sure the evidence it collects is also secure, as thieves have been known to steal the DVD or computer that records the CCTV, so there is no proof of the theft.

If you install a CCTV system make sure the evidence it collects is also secure.

5. Check your home insurance

LV= Home Insurance will cover your garden buildings and contents, including sheds, gates and fences, garden furniture, BBQs, bicycles and tools.

LV= even provides cover if your plants, shrubs and trees are stolen. So, if you are targeted by thieves, at least you won't be out of pocket.

Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may only be covered if certain outdoor items are locked away at night or when you are away from the house. Your insurance may provide cover for furniture and pots that are left out all year round.

To find out what you can and can't claim for, read our guide to garden insurance and what's covered.

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