Keep your home safe and secure

It’s that time of year when people spend more time outside in their gardens.  But it’s important you make sure you take precautions to prevent your property from being a target for thieves.

Thieves love this time of year and are waiting for an opportunity to come across an open window, door or an unlocked shed or outbuilding and so t.hey can access your property and steal your hard-earned items.

So, don’t give them the opportunity, or the tools, to commit a crime. Lock everything away securely and secure items such as bikes to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked garage or shed.   Plus, if you have a shed with a window, it’s always worth covering the window with an old curtain or sheet and also place a blanket on top of garden machinery such as your mower or garden shredder to keep them hidden from view. And although it might sound very obvious, never leave your garage or shed door unlocked if you’re not around.  It only takes a few seconds for someone to get into your outbuildings and take expensive items that aren’t locked away or secure.

Here are a few helpful tips to protect your property from being the target for thieves.

Keeping your property safer

  1. Keep your hedges and garden walls at the front of your house low (under one metre) so burglars have nowhere to hide.
  2. Secure side gates and keep them locked at all times. Open gates mean burglars can easily access your home without being seen by passers-by or neighbours.
  3. High side and rear boundaries with trellis and spiky defensive planting.  Keep hedges, walls and fences around your back garden high (over 1.8 metres). Add lightweight trellis to gates and fences and plant some prickly plants to make it harder for burglars to climb over.
  4. Gravel driveway and path. Gravel driveways and paths make it harder for burglars to go undetected.
  5. Install an outside security light so that intruders can’t approach without being seen.
  6. Install a burglar alarm system.
  7. Secure your shed; always keep your shed locked and secured, and make sure it is anchored down to prevent it from being lifted in order to gain access. Often sheds contain valuables such as power tools and bicycles.
  8. Never leave tools lying around; never leave tools lying around as they can be used as a way of breaking into your home.

Stay secure in summer

Leaving ground floor windows, doors and patio doors open in the summer lets in the fresh air, but they can give burglars the perfect opportunity to break in.  If you’re upstairs or out of the room, even just for a few minutes, close them and lock them to help shut burglars out.

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Extra steps you can take

It may be worth buying a shed alarm for extra protection.  They aren’t expensive to buy but offer additional protection.

Add an extra layer of protection to shed windows with laminate sheets of film or internal metal grills.

Create a natural defence against burglary

Planting particular shrubs (in their mature or semi mature form) along garden walls and fences can make it harder for burglars to access your property or put them off completely. To maximise this effect plant them close to each other. The following plants can act as a deterrent and also add a bit of colour to your garden Berberis, Osmanthus, Pyracantha, Mahonia, Ligustrum (privet) or laurel bushes.

Don’t forget, if you treat yourself to a new bike, expensive garden equipment or furniture, it’s always worthwhile itemising them on your insurance policy so they are covered if they are stolen.

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Contact a member of the Insurewise Team on 01733 325555 or email sales@insurewise.co.uk for help and advice.