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Outbuildings security

by on August 23, 2017

While household crime is decreasing, thefts from gardens and outbuildings is unfortunately on the rise. Whether you have a greenhouse, garden shed, workshop or any other kind of outbuilding, our handy tips will help you improve security and protect your property from crime.

Security for outbuilding entrances and property boundaries

  • Check for damage to walls, hedges and fences and repair as soon as possible
  • Fit a good quality alarm to your outbuilding and test them regularly
  • If appropriate, consider installing CCTV, especially if you are often away
  • Choose external doors that are at least 44m thick with securely-fixed frames
  • Ensure the boundary at the back of your property is at least two metres high
  • Optimise security on fences by using anti-climb paint or a ‘prickler’ strip along the top. Anti-climb paint does not dry and will stain materials it comes into contact with. A sign stating usage acts as a further deterrent and will help ensure you meet your duty of care
  • Using gravel on your driveway or installing a driveway alarm are good ideas for alerting you to unexpected visitors. You could also consider motion sensor lights though make sure your security isn’t at the expense of your neighbour’s retinas, or patience!
  • If you have access points that are not regularly used, plant a tree, place a bollard or block in the gap.

General security measures for outbuildings

  • Don’t leave anything of value on display and tidy up your tools when you are finished for the day. Even if a thief is not attracted to these particular possessions, they may use them to gain further access to your property
  • Additional internal security to outbuildings for valuable items is a good idea. Lock spades or similar with padlocked chains and consider a metal storage unit.

Security for outbuilding doors and windows

  • Always lock windows and doors even when you are at home
  • Make sure exterior hinges are not accessible from the outside
  • Check hinges, locks and framework around doors and windows regularly for wear and tear, and make sure all padlocks are robust and carry the British Standard kite mark
  • Where possible, have a mortised deadlock midway on the door and a Yale-style latch lock 60cm or so above it. Consider fitting a door chain or similar
  • Consider laminated glass for windows – it is considerably harder to break. Use a coloured film or net curtains to obscure the view
  • If you have leaded glazing or wood/metal framed windows, fit a secondary laminated glazing, sheeting or grill.

Plants, hedges and trees

  • While hedges provide privacy, keep those in the front garden to a modest height so intruders are visible from the street. Bushes should be no higher than 36 inches and trees no higher than seven foot
  • Consider planting prickly plants under ground floor windows as a deterrent to intruders.

The inconvenience, costs and stress caused by being a victim of crime can be compounded by higher insurance premiums. You could also benefit from a five percent reduction in premiums if correct security measures are in place. Doing as much as you can to ensure your outbuildings are secure will help ensure you can enjoy your garden and outdoor spaces, no matter what the weather brings.

Do you need further help understanding your responsibilities as a homeowner when it comes to adding an outbuilding to your garden?? Access our outbuildings guide. ‘If you are ready to start your project and would like some guidance from an outbuilding specialist, our directory of outbuilding suppliers can help.

  1. Miles Forsyth permalink

    Thank you.

    While the advice within is no doubt sound and of value to some, I’m curious as to how it relates to Planning ? The ‘world’ of Planning has, from time to time, tried to embrace many other aspects of the built environment, with, I’d venture to suggest, limited success (‘energy statements’ required with Planning Applications that are then more or less duplicated and/or refined by the subsequent Building Regulations process, for example). Of course no one likes theft, but if this suggests that wider Planning now embrace the role of residential security I think we’re all going down a bit of a blind alley (at the end of which there will no doubt be a prickly bush and a wall with barbed wire gracing its upper edges).

  2. Martin Levick Senior Enforcement & Compliance Officer permalink

    As useful as your article is it should clarify that a means of enclosure in excess of 2 metres requires planning permission especially as one of your bullet points states: •Ensure the boundary at the back of your property is at least two metres high.
    You also refer to the planting of hedges and trees and suggest a tree should not exceed 7 feet in height. I’m not aware of many trees which grow to 7 feet high and stop growing. There may be certain cultivars of holly and japanese maple that you could maintain at this height but other trees would not respond to such heavy pruning.

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