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Securing your garden and outbuildings

When protecting your home, it is not just the house itself you have to think about. Reports of thefts from gardens, outbuildings, sheds and garages, are an issue too – particularly in rural areas.

The value of property stored in sheds and outbuildings is often much greater than you may realise.

Keeping your garden secure

By increasing the security of your garden, not only can you reduce theft and burglary to your outbuildings, but you can also help to minimise the risk of forced entry to your house.

  • Supplement and reinforce garden fences with tall and prickly plants and shrubbery to act as a further deterrent to accessing your property.
  • Shrubbery can also be used under first floor windows and around drainpipes to prevent unauthorised access.
  • If the access to the back of your house is gained via a passage, it is recommended you fit a steel bar gate, at least the same height as your garden fencing.
  • Install outside security lighting operated by either movement sensor or photoelectric cell.
  • Photograph valuable and unusual garden ornaments and keep these in a secure place. 

Security advice for outbuildings

  • Mark your power tools or other items with your postcode and house number or the first two letters of your house name and register the details on the Immobilise website.
  • Put away all tools and equipment and lock up using good quality or specialist locks.
  • Remember these tools could be used to break into your home. Don’t leave ladders outside, or chain them up if you have to.
  • Double garage doors with a rim latch should be supplemented with a mortice deadlock.
  • Most standard ‘up and over’ garage doors are easily overcome by a burglar. You can prevent this by drilling a hole through the channel above the wheels and fitting a padlock. Alternatively, fit a hasp and staple each side of the door with a padlock or fit a specialist lock.
  • If the garage is attached to the main building ensure that connecting doors are secure.
  • Check that your household insurance covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.
  • Fit a battery-operated alarm.
  • Fit a window grille and/or frosted window film to stop a thief seeing into your shed or garage.
  • Chain tools, cycles and other valuable equipment together using a high-security chain or cable and a good quality padlock.
  • Replace standard hinges with strap hinges secured by coach bolts or use security screws on existing hinges.

Report it

You can report your garden or outbuildings being burgled:

You can register your stolen items on the Immobilise website.

Related documents

Find out more about protecting your garden and outbuildings (PDF).

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