Your essential guide to keeping your garden safe this summer as you dust off the patio furniture and bring out the kids’ swimming pool
We love our gardens here in the UK. And with summer approaching, we’re all likely to be spending more of our evenings and weekends inviting the neighbours round for a BBQ or enjoying a beer on the patio after a stressful day at work.
Even if you’re not particularly green-fingered, chances are the property in your garden is worth a lot more than you think – with inflatable bathtubs, garden furniture and the bikes in the shed. If you want to test this theory, the next time you step outside, take a look around your garden and tot up how much it would cost to replace these items in the event of a burglary.
The most popular targets
Opportunist thieves are clued up on the value in our backyards. According to Admiral claims data, the average cost of theft from the garden is £1,593, with the five items most likely to be stolen being:
• Golfing equipment
• Garden equipment
• Sporting equipment
How to protect your garden this summer
While it’s always a good idea to make sure your garden is secure, there are extra precautions you could take during the warmer months.
ONE: Check for winter damage
As the temperature rises, it’s wise to make sure that previous harsher climates haven’t caused any damage to your outside space. For example, you should check to make sure your sheds or garden walls are still in a decent condition and, if not, make the necessary repairs.
TWO: Trim back the bushes
Now it’s getting warmer, we don’t have the same excuse to postpone cutting the grass or tackling the garden. From a security perspective, having overgrown trees or plants in your garden can provide an ideal location for thieves to hide before entering your property.
THREE: Secure garden ornaments
At this time of year, chances are you’ll be having more guests in your garden and could feel a greater urge to decorate these outside areas.
But, be vigilant. As the price of scrap metal rises, garden ornaments are increasingly attractive to thieves. Lock them down with a secure land anchor.
FOUR: Lock up
While it might sound obvious, you should lock your home’s doors and windows before popping out into the garden on a balmy evening. Otherwise, a burglar could be in and out in a minute and leave with your belongings.
And, of course, you should always lock your shed or garage and install secure locks on these premises. If you have cover for outbuildings and fail to do so, your insurer might determine you have been negligent and refuse to pay out if you need to make a claim.
For added security you might even decide to add a locked box or cage inside the shed to keep things in.
FIVE: Build strong borders
Strong borders keep thieves out, but that doesn’t mean surrounding yourself with an ugly brick wall. Try growing thorny bushes – it’ll look nice and create an impassable obstacle. If you have a fence, why not make it higher with a trellis that will be difficult to climb over and will not take a burglar’s weight? To make it even more difficult, try decorating it with a thorny climbing rose.
Motion-sensing lighting and CCTV cameras also act as a great deterrent.
SIX: Finding the right level of cover
All these measures can do a great deal to deter thieves, but they can’t keep items completely safe so it pays to have a good insurance policy in place. At Admiral, our new MultiCover policy is a great catch-all product that provides protection for home, contents, and cars. It offers various levels of cover so speak to us and see how we can help you keep your garden safe.