Using Your Gardens For Security
Phew. We can finally wave goodbye to January, officially the longest month on record. After which, February tends to fair zip by. It’ll be March before we know it, with brighter weather, more time outside, and contemplating the lawn, knowing we’ll soon be out of excuses to finally mow it.
The garden is what I’m concentrating on today. Not in a Percy Thrower or Alan Titchmarsh way, and not even in a Charlie Dimmock fashion, but rather about how the layout of your garden can impact on your home security.
Let’s talk hedges… and there’s three words I never thought I’d write. It seems a no brainer to have tall hedges around your property, and to an extent that’s true, but with an important proviso. After a certain height, hedges are more helpful to burglars than home owners, given them cover so they can be out of sight of any passers-by as they take their time breaking into your house. This is especially true with hedges at the front of the property. As soon as you go beyond a metre high you run this risk of inadvertently helping burglars. So my personal preference is to keep them at this height or under. If they’ve grown higher than this it might well be worth getting them cut down to size.
For every Yin there is a Yang, for every head there is a tail, and so for every warning about high hedges, there’s a warning about no hedges at all, or so the saying goes. Yes, please don’t take the above as an excuse to chop down those plants and hedges. At a sensible height, these can be a boon in helping keep a property safe. This is known as defensive planting, perhaps something that Doncaster Rovers could utilise this season. If you have no plants at the moment, choose hardy shrubs, the pricklier the better for the boundary of your property. These would cause great discomfort for anyone trying to get over them and may well be enough to deter any would-be burglar.
Within the garden itself, do please remember to store away any ladders, furniture or garden tools. The latter can be an enticing target for opportunistic burglars, and the first two can also aid any housebreakers in being able to gain access – a ladder up to a window on the first floor, or pushing garden furniture against a wall to climb on and then gain access to a roof. By shutting these items away in sheds and garages, you remove this temptation.
Speaking of sheds and garages, the security of these should be given as much attention as the security of your house. They are often left far more vulnerable than the main property, yet there are easy ways of ramping up security using padlocks, shed bars, hasps, bolts and even alarms and sensors. Whilst I’ve just encouraged you to store items away in these locations, do also consider the value of the contents you have stashed away, and cross-reference this with you home and contents insurance policy – there is often small print limiting the amount of cover you get in outbuildings.
We move on from sheds to the subject of shedding light – I know, I know, sorry. But I’ve talked before about how darkness is the burglar’s friend, allowing them to go about their deeds unseen. Getting a security light fitted outside takes away this advantage. It has the added bonus of helping you see when you put the bins out or come home on a dark evening. And whisper it quietly, but if the weather gets nicer, it’ll make the garden a more pleasant place to be in the spring evenings.
I’ve only talked about the legal ways here to use your garden to keep your house safe. Sentry guards based in a tower, all armed with Uzi machine guns, is usually frowned upon by the local constabulary, and this rules out landmines, moats, and man-eating lions prowling the premises. To stay within the guidelines of the law, a prickly hedge is probably your best bet. Just remember to keep it under control – over a metre hight and the advantage turns back to the burglar. And that’s without even considering a Day of the Triffids style scenario.
For advice on anything security-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 07990573857 for a Rotherham locksmith.