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We pay particular notice to securing our homes but can overlook keeping items in our gardens safe. The value of garden furniture, ornaments and plants can amount to thousands of pounds and most household insurance cover on such items is limited.

1. Check your household insurance policy covers theft from your garden and outbuildings. If necessary, consult a broker as they may have access to specific garden insurance products. If you have anything that is very valuable, like antique ornaments, in your garden you may need a specialist policy.

2. Simple but effective is the use of gravel on a path or driveway. It makes it difficult to approach the property quietly. 

3. If possible, don’t screen the front of the property. Have low walls and fences that can’t be hidden behind and prune overhanging branches and foliage. 

4. Install strong fences. A 6ft fence or wall at the rear of your property is normally standard. Anything higher may require planning permission. 

5. Trellising on the top of fences makes it harder to climb over. Prickly plants or hedging (such as hawthorn, blackthorn, firethorn or holly) are also a deterrent. Please be mindful that any measures taken to prevent someone climbing over must be considered reasonable in law. The use of barbed wire could severely injure and legal action may be taken against the homeowner. 

6. Garden gates should be the same height as fences and secured to gateposts. It’s important to have good bolts – placed at the top and bottom. For extra security you could install a Hasp and Staple with padlock.

 

7. Don’t leave anything lying around that may tempt a thief! Put tools and equipment away when you have finished using them. Larger items, such as barbecues, should be covered. 

8. If storing a ladder outside ensure it is always secured with a chain and padlock to a strong fixing. Be aware of other items that may help a thief – garden furniture and wheelie bins could be used to climb on to access upstairs windows. Garden tools could also be used to gain entry. 

9. Mark your possessions with your house name or number and postcode so they are traceable. It is best that they are either etched or painted on. 

10. Take photographs of your garden valuables as if they are stolen they will be useful both to the police and your insurance company. 

11. Install security lights that are triggered by movement. Place them in appropriate areas near gates and doors to your home. 

12. Expensive pots can be secured by cementing or by anchoring them to a permanent stake or you could consider movement detectors beneath them that would trigger an alarm. There are also electronic tagging systems that can be embedded into an item.

13. Hanging baskets can be protected by using specialised locking brackets. 

14. If you have a shed there purpose made alarms that are simple to install and add extra security.

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