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Outside security advice

3rd May 2016

I'll be honest, I've had this blog ready for the last 2 months as it was due to start "Well, the weather's improving and Spring is here",  but following the freezing temperatures and the hail, sleet and snow of late April, it's just never seemed the right time.  But now we're in May and, touch wood, the wintry showers may be behind us, and with a promised heat wave upcoming, I thought I'd take the risk of posting it.

A seasonal problem for this time of year is that people see summer on the horizon and take the opportunity to buy new garden furniture, tools, barbecues, or even garden swings and slides for the children. Many of us will also take on DIY projects, although few will finish them (Fine, I'll get those gutters cleared out ONE DAY) and will invest in new ladders or equipment to help.

Lovely though all this equipment may be, it's also quite the attraction for burglars. The Crime Prevention website backs this up, showing that garden crimes rise by up to 50% in the summer months, and that one in seven homes will suffer a theft from the garden every year. As such, I've put together a few tips to try an ensure you avoid being a 1 in 7 statistic.

Ladders

Obvious, I know, but you'd be surprised how many people leave these lying outside because of the hassle of putting them away. But that extra couple of minutes sticking them in the garage is well worthwhile, because a couple of minutes is all it would take for a burglar to use them to find an easy way in, over a boundary, or even through an upstairs window.

Tools

I've covered these before in earlier blogs but I can't emphasise this enough - so often tools are left either in unsecure outbuildings or simply left outside in the garden. Again, a couple of minutes at the end of the day ensuring everything is locked up can save a lot of hassle in the long run. If your shed doesn't lock, invest in a padlock. If an expensive padlock is beyond you, even a cheap one is better than nothing as the sight of it may well deter the opportunistic burglar from even approaching, and they'll carry on their search for easier prey.

Bikes

We've just had the Tour de Yorkshire and perhaps that's inspired you to dust off the bike and attempt to emulate Hoy, Wiggins or Pendleton.  And I know that after you've come back from that five mile slog, after months of inactivity, you'll be knackered, sweating, and gasping for a swift beverage or two, but don't let that stop you locking the bike away or else next time you might be jogging instead. And no-one wants that.

Play equipment

Admittedly it's unlikely that someone's going to steal a full swing set, and this would be tricky to lock away anyway, but smaller toys can still be an attraction for burglars - tricycles, skateboards, scooters and the like. Making sure they're secure at the end of the day could result in a lot less heartache for you and the little ones.

Plants

You can't do a lot to lock away plants, apart from the usual garden security measures (lights, secure boundaries, locked gates etc), but new plants, especially the pricier ones newly bought from the garden centre are still a draw for some burglars. If you're concerned about these, I'd recommend googling "plant anchors", as there are still ways of making outdoor plants less susceptible to theft. There's some good information about this on The Crime Prevention Website.

Holidays

Finally, and I know I've mentioned this before, (but summer is the holiday season after all) be careful about advertising that you're going away. We'd like to pretend that burglars don't use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, but the truth is they do, and they also use it as a tool to discover which houses in the locality will be empty and which remain occupied. Perhaps leave the posting of photographs until you've returned from holiday, or get a friend to housesit for you. Not much ruins a holiday more than returning to a find a break-in -believe me, no amount of Sangria blots that out.

Anyway, I hope I haven't ensured another full month of snow and sleet by finally posting this article. Summer's to be enjoyed, just be mindful of the above tips and don't let a burglar rain on your parade... or barbecue. 

For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs, upgrades or replacements, call 01226 399 067.



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