How to keep your gardens, sheds and outbuildings secure this spring

Secure your garden shed to keep tools and other valuables out of the hands of thieves.

Secure your garden shed to keep tools and other valuables out of the hands of thieves. - Credit: Yale

If you're out in the garden this weekend, why not take a few minutes to consider how you can make your home more secure?

As the weather starts improving, residents will naturally be spending more time outside, and using their gardening and leisure equipment. Burglars are also on the look-out for valuable things to steal, like tools, bicycles etc left out or stored in outbuildings that have little or no security.

Insp Nicola Dean, from Herts police's Crime Reduction Team, said: “Burglaries and thefts from gardens tend to increase at this time of year, as the temperatures rise. People tend to buy new garden equipment, start DIY projects or splash out on barbecues etc, meaning there’s a lot of valuable stuff in gardens and sheds.

"We are recommending that everyone takes some basic security measures to make sure their gardens and outbuildings are secure. Leaving tools and gardening equipment lying around in your garden can attract thieves, as they are often valuable or could also be used to break into your home.

“Make sure any tools that could assist a burglar, like ladders, trowels, hammers etc, are locked away and make sure outbuildings are as secure as possible, with strong locks or even an alarmed padlock. Dusk till dawn security lights and planting defensive plants like roses along your borders, and keeping fences in good condition, will make your home even safer. Remember to close windows and lock doors when you are finished outside and before going to bed, even when the weather gets warmer.”

 These are some of the ways you can make your garden and outbuildings more secure:

  • Always lock your shed, preferably with two 'hasp and staple' locks (one near the top and one near the bottom of the door) or use or an alarmed padlock.
  • Secure your rear garden by locking entry gates with a padlock.
  • Burglars can use garden tools to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.
  • Ensure boundary fences are secure and in good condition. Spiky plants along garden boundaries are good additional deterrents.
  • Tools and gardening equipment should be visibly marked with your postcode and house number - this can deter thieves and help police identify the rightful owner.
  • Remember to lock your garage door securely. Metal ‘up and over’ doors can be secured with extra locks fitted either side and/or a floor-mounted locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock.
    Wooden garage doors can be secured with two substantial ‘hasps and staple’ locks and closed shackle padlocks (your local DIY store can advise on the most secure options).
  • Join Neighbourhood Watch or Allotment Watch to help reduce crime in your local area.
  • Make access to the rear of your property difficult, keep rear/side gates closed and locked and ensure boundary walls/fences are in good repair
  • Keep wheelie bins secured so they cannot be moved or used as climbing aids.
  • Plant defensive spiky plants under windows such as berberis, roses and pyracantha. Watch our video on defensive plants:
  • Most bicycles are stolen from home so ensure they are kept in secure sheds, outbuildings and garages.  Consider installing ground anchors if you have a concrete floor. If not, look for security rated products specifically for wooden and metal sheds.
  • Take extra security precautions for storing expensive bikes, it is recommended that they are security marked and registered with