It’s National Gardening Week this week and for many of us, this will be our first introduction to the exciting world of gardening. Whether you’re new to gardening or not, you’ll be aware that tools and equipment will be needed. As you collect more and more gardening tools, you’ll need to keep them in a safe and secure place away from thieves.
Garden sheds are often an easy target for burglars and the security of your gardening equipment is something can be frequently overlooked. Many of us will just stuff our tools away in an old wooden shed and hope they are sufficiently hidden away from the eyes of potential thieves.
Lawn mowers and gardening tools are two of the most common items stolen from garden sheds, according to the Metropolitan Police. For those of you who have invested in gardening tools, you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken the necessary precautions to prevent theft.
“Garden theft isn't just perpetrated by lone opportunists. Gardening is big business, and so is 'organised' garden crime”, writes Kate Bradbury for Gardeners World.
We’re now going to give you some useful hints, tips and information on how to safeguard your gardening gear.
Check your Insurance
Your home insurance might cover many things, but does in also cover your sheds and outbuildings? You should check with your home insurance providers that you are covered.
If you have a secure steel shed, it may be that it has been insurance-approved. This means that the insurance companies recognise the shed as being particularly secure and intruder resistant.
Having one of these sheds could reduce the cost of your insurance. If you’d like to see an example of insurance approved metal garden shed, take a look at our metal garden sheds
What Would a Thief Do?
If you’re looking at a rotting wooden shed, with a simple padlock securing the door, then it’s safe to say, your shed isn’t so safe from thieves.
Insurance-approved sheds undergo a series of manual intervention attack tests, which simulate an opportunist attack. If they pass all of the tests they are awarded a certificate.
Here’s a list of tools that can be used to simulate an opportunist attack.
- Adhesive tape
- 1 Cable cutter – 150mm long
- Fishing line
- Flexible Plastic coupon
- 1 Glass cutter
- Hexagon wrenches
- 1 Knife – blade 125mm long x 3mm thick
- 1 Lever
- 1 Screwdriver
- 1 Scriber
- Socket/Screwdriver set
- Traction Screws
- Wood/Plastic wedges
If your shed can withstand these attacks, you have a quality shed. Remember to take a look at some of the reviews, as well as paying close attention to specific accreditations that the manufacturers might have. To find out if a shed has been insurance approved, you should be looking for a LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board) accreditation.
Consider Covering your Tools
Expensive lawn mowers, strimmers and hedge trimmers are all items that would look highly tempting to a thief. Criminals can sell on expensive electrical items for a decent price.
When your possessions are be on show, such as when you have your shed door open, whilst doing gardening work, consider using an old sheet or a blanket to cover expensive items, when they’re not in use.
Mark your Possessions
You can use paint or a permanent marker to put your name, address and post code on your expensive gardening equipment. This can help identify the items if they are stolen or even help someone to return them to their rightful owner.
Forensic marking is also an option. The website www.immobilise.com allows you to register your possessions for free and can be used to assist the UK Police in finding and tracing stolen items.
An alarm will notify you that a thief is at large in your garden. This can potentially make it more likely that the perpetrator is identified and prosecuted, because there is a greater chance of the thief being identified once the alarm has been sounded.
A battery powered alarm that is attached to the outside of your shed can act as a visible deterrent, dissuading an opportunist thief from even attempting a break in.