Jane Thirsk, Police Homewatch Officer, has kindly provided some advice about protecting sheds, gardens and the rear of properties from theft.

Please see her advice, below:

Theft of garden equipment is a growing menace.

• Put away all tools and equipment and ensure that all outside sheds and store cupboards are securely locked when not in use.

• Bring the tools inside if you do not have a garden shed or outbuilding.

. Chain ladders to a non moveable structure

• Use plant protection – such as thorny shrubs. Install outside security lighting which comes on automatically.

• If you have a burglar alarm, why not extend it to cover outbuildings and sheds?

• Photograph valuable garden plants or ornaments.

• Mark your property with your postcode. This makes stolen property easier to trace and it can be positively identified as yours.

• Check that your household insurance policy covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.

. Use gravel or the like around your pathways to make your garden a noisy garden

. Use a lock on side gates to make it harder for intruders to enter your garden

. If you are going away inform a neighbour and ask them to keep an eye on the place

Don’t leave valuable property in a shed or garage that is either unlocked or so run-down that it’s no obstacle to a thief. If you suspect it might not stand up to attack by a thief then don’t leave valuable items inside, such as your lawnmower or bicycle.

Fit decent locks to your shed door. The fittings should be bolted through the shed door and reinforced at the back with a steel plate. Any hasp should have concealed screws.

Padlocks used externally should be no less than 6cm wide and made of hardened steel. A “closed shackle” type is best, as thieves cannot get the likes of a crowbar through the shackle to break it. The locks themselves should have no less than five pins.

For sheds that have exterior door hinges – replace existing screws with security screws. They are designed so that they cannot be unscrewed once they are screwed in. Or alternatively bolted through as with the door lock.

Chicken wire or welded metal grilles fixed to the inside of shed windows with wooden or steel batons will deter the burglar.

If your gardening equipment or tools are especially valuable, consider using special security devices inside your shed or garage. Items can be locked down using chains through eyebolts secured to the floor or walls. There are a number of specialist systems available for this purpose.

Consider fitting security cages inside sheds or garages and keep valuable equipment inside them. It’s well worth locking down ladders and tools that could be used to break into your house. Best not to encourage an opportunistic thief.

Mark all your garden equipment and tools with your postcode and house number/name.

Finally, check with your household insurance company that your policy includes cover for items stored in garages, sheds and outbuildings and remember, if you fail to put your equipment away or lock-up, your insurance company probably won’t pay up anyway.

Your garden, as well as your house, has valued possessions that thieves would love to steal. It also has equipment that could help them break into your house.

Most burglars are lazy. They look for easy ways of getting into a house or garden. By taking a few simple precautions you can reduce the risk of being burgled and make your house and garden more secure.

Jane Thirsk

Watch Officer

Cheshire Police

 

22. May, 2013Latest News Comments Off on Homewatch advice for protecting your property