Garden Security How to Protect your Garden from Burglars and Intruders

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Garden security is a subject I feel very strongly about and if you can take just one or two of the suggested deterrents and use them to protect your garden from burglars and intruders, then it has been worth writing this post. Having Intruders enter your garden is an unsettling experience and if they manage to take something from your garden, whether it be an expensive piece of machinery or just a sentimental plant or pot, can take a long time to get over.

Securing your garden doesn’t mean it has to look like Fort Knox. However, the more layers you can add to your garden security, the harder it will make it for thieves to enter your outdoor space and storage sheds. Criminals are notoriously lazy, if your garden is just too difficult to get into, get away from or protected with security devices, then it is highly likely they will move on the easier pickings.

Stopping intruders entering your garden

Stopping unwanted guests from entering your garden is the first layer of security. Most gardens are surrounded by 6′ fences or walls but unfortunately, these barriers are rarely a deterrent. However, adding trellis to give extra height may look harder to scale to a perusing thief. Adding a spikey plant like a climbing rose or pyracantha to the trellis will make it quite uninviting.

There are many thorny plants that can be put to good use in the garden to make entry difficult for an unsuspecting intruder. Place these plants under windows and grow them to window sill height, and at least a couple of feet out from the wall. You can also use these unfriendly plants where you might have gaps in walls hedges or fences. Look to see where your neighbour’s water butt is, could it be used a “leg up”? if so, then plant a particularly spiky plant next to it on your side of the fence. These might even keep unwanted guests like cats, dogs and foxes from entering your garden too.

Spiky plants to use for garden security

  • Berberis
  • Pyracantha
  • Roses
  • Cordylines
  • Agave
  • New Zealand Flax
  • Holly
  • Blackthorn
  • Hawthorn
  • Gorse

Get a whole list of plants that deter burglars, intruders and vandals at crocus.co.uk

Protecting Sheds from theives

This is the big one, sheds and outdoor storage areas are the biggest targets. Thieves are after items they can remove and sell easily and the demand for lawnmowers, strimmers and hedge cutters is the highest in the spring. Sheds are often made of quite flimsy materials with perspex windows and come with hasp locks that can easily be prised open with a strong tool.

The first layer of security you can add to your garden shed is to put a strong hasp on the shed door. The hasp should be bolted, using coach bolts and NOT screwed, all the way through the door with a 44mm x 25mm piece of wood or a plate of metal on the inside. Screws are easy to lever out, whereas bolts are extremely difficult to pull through the wood if levered. Always use a strong padlock that has a very short loop, this will stop the intruders prising the lock apart.

It can be tempting to skimp on expensive locks but this can sometimes be a false economy if claiming on your house insurance for garden machinery. The excess can be high with subsequent insurance premiums rising due to a claim.

Hinges can be a source of weakness too. Try to bolt these too as with the hasp. If this is not feasible, consider fitting a shed locking bar. Locking bars span the width of the door so it cannot be levered open, great for securing double-door sheds.

Shed windows can easily be protected by screwing a wire mesh to the inside of the shed.

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Protecting garden rooms

Garden rooms are becoming increasingly popular but unfortunately popular with thieves too. Garden rooms can be used as a home office or an extra room for teenagers to hang out in and could contain TVs, game consoles and computers – all too tempting to a burglar.

Treat garden rooms as you would when securing your home. Never leave the windows open and lock them whenever possible. Fit security lights on the outside – intruders hate drawing attention to themselves. Consider using smart plugs with lights. Smart plugs offer a versatile means of setting timers on different days and at different times, these can be simply changed by an app on your phone, even if you are away from home. Read my post on Smart plugs in the garden HERE.

Use a weatherproof motion detector which can be placed in your garden and alert you of an unwanted guest. Place window alarms on the windows, just in case you accidentally leave them open. The window alarms will activate a siren if the window is opened wider or smashed.

Shed and garden room alarms

Fitting an alarm can not only scare off unsuspecting intruders but can also give you piece of mind at night. I have often got up in the middle of the night wondering what a noise was, convinced someone was breaking into my shed. You can stay safely tucked up in bed if there’s no sound from your shed alarm!

If you don’t have power in your shed don’t worry, there are some fantastic standalone alarms which are rechargeable or run off replaceable batteries. These batteries can last between 3 months and 2 years.

Text alert shed alarms

Text alert alarms are a real bonus if your shed or garden room is a long way from the house. The battery-powered units contain a gsm sim card, this enables the alarm to automatically send a text to your phone as soon as the alarm is activated. These battery-powered alarms are great for boats or caravans too. They really can put your mind at rest. I have one on a boat which I used to check every day. If I don’t get a text I know all is ok.

The sim card in the alarm costs around £10 and the cost of a text is at the standard rate for a text message. The credit lasts until it is all used up. I bought a sim 6 years ago and there is still £7 of credit left!

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Garden security cameras

Home and garden security cameras are yet another strong layer of defence and a great deterrent against burglars and intruders. It is agreed that intruders can cover their faces. However, offenders can still be identified by clothing, tattoos, jewellery or scars, so don’t underestimate the strength of installing a simple home security camera.

Which home or garden security camera is best?

There are some great security cameras on the market ranging from £40 to £800. However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good setup. The more expensive systems don’t necessarily offer more features or quality but they may contain rechargeable batteries, a really useful feature if there is not a power source nearby or you simply don’t want to drill through walls.

Speaking from experience, I have four IMOU wireless security cameras and they offer the best value for money and all the features you will need from a home CCTV setup.

When choosing an outdoor wireless security camera, make sure it has the facility for 24-hour recording and a microSD card slot. This can save you a fortune as many cameras come with an optional cloud storage subscription. Inserting a microSD card into the camera will allow 24-hour recording for free!

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What size SD card do I need for my security camera?

Wireless outdoor security cameras can record in either SD or HD quality. A 128GB microSD card can store approximately 14 days of video and approximately 7 days in HD quality. Once the card is full, the camera simply starts rewriting over the oldest footage.

Security cameras for remote buildings and outside area

There are now outdoor wireless cameras for remote areas which do not require a fixed internet connection. These cameras deliver live video directly to an app on your mobile phone, as long as there is a 4g mobile signal available. The cameras can contain rechargeable batteries which can be topped up with an additional solar panel if required. These cameras can use a lot of power so a continuous power source would be preferable. However, if you have a farm barn, boat or caravan this camera could put your mind at rest.

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How much data would a 4g internet IP camera use?

Depending on the resolution required, you could expect to use around 1GB of data to view 60 minutes of live video and approximately 500 minutes of live video at a lesser quality. That’s good value to check your property!

Home and garden security signs

Strategically placed signs, warning intruders of the measures taken, show that you take the security of your property seriously and may encourage them to move on.

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