As many of our service users live alone, it’s so important that they feel safe and secure in their own homes. We previously shared our tips on keeping yours or a loved-one’s home secure, but as well as your home, it’s also important to remember to keep outside areas or gardens secure too.
Barbecues, bird tables, patio furniture and solar lighting are just some of the items that may appeal to the light fingered. Below are some useful tips for ensuring yours or an elderly loved-one’s garden is secure this summer:
Potential intruders can be put off by clever planting, for example, a thick prickly hedge surrounding your garden can act as a deterrent. Berberis, holly, gorse and hawthorn are good choices.
To make it difficult to climb over fences and walls you could try planting climbing roses, chaenomeles or pyracantha.
Sheds are the most inviting to garden thieves as this is where expensive tools and equipment are usually stored. You should make sure your shed is robust and has been kept well maintained during the winter months.
Replace any screws and nails, securing hinges, handles and latches with dome headed bolts as this should prevent them from being screwed off. You should also fit good quality bolts and a hefty padlock to the door. If your shed has windows, put locks on them and add a wire mesh on the inside.
Wall anchors can be fitted inside sheds, outbuildings and garages and can be attached to valuable items such as mowers, power tools and bikes, but remember that they are only as secure as the surface they are fastened to. Alternatively, you can chain larger items such as mowers and bikes together before locking them to a wall anchor.
Motion activated alarms can also be fitted to sheds, greenhouses, conservatories and garages.
In back gardens you can extend the height of your fence by adding a trellis panel to the top of it. This makes it harder for anyone trying to climb over the fence and it won’t be able to support a lot of weight.
Garden lighting is also a good deterrent and can be installed on a timer or be motion activated. Position the lights carefully and try to ensure they won’t shine directly into neighbouring houses or roads. Try to install a light at the main access points to your garden and fit it at least two metres up, so it is out of reach of potential thieves.
Gravel is a good choice for pathways because the noise it makes should alert you to someone trying to enter or exit your property.
Furniture, tools and ornaments
Don’t leave inexpensive garden tools lying around in the garden as they can be used to force doors, break windows or even to dig up plants. It is a good idea to security code your tools, furniture and ornaments by marking them with paint, ultraviolet pen or engraving them.
Remember that garden furniture can be carried out of your garden, so when it isn’t being used store it securely inside. Try to keep expensive items such as ornaments, furniture and plants out of view of those passing by.
Our carers who visit service users are urged to make sure the person they’re visiting is safe in their own home and to raise any issues or concerns with relatives if needs be.