Now that summer is well underway, many of those living in North Wales will be taking the opportunity to venture out into the garden, where we’ll be able to get down to the business of weeding, pruning, planting and mowing – in order to ensure that the place is as pleasant to inhabit as possible.
But while many of us devote considerable care and thought to how good our gardens might look, few of us expend the same mental energy thinking about issues of security. And this is a mistake, since the summer is the period at which our property is most vulnerable to crime – since so many of us are going away on holiday, and so much equipment is left out in the garden unattended. In this article, we’ll look at exactly where these risks come from, and see what steps can be taken to minimise them.
The first thing we must understand about the psychology of would-be thieves is that they’re opportunists. They don’t pore over the blueprints of your property in a smoke-filled basement, forming complex plans about how best to rob you. Instead, they act upon instinct and opportunity. If they are driving along and see a chance to take something, for minimal risk, and high reward, then they’re likely to take that opportunity.
The task of the homeowner, then, is to make the risks appear great and the rewards seem negligible. As we’ll see, this can often be done with barely any effort at all.
Gardening equipment is among the most attractive of all items to potential thieves. It’s often highly specialised and engineered, and therefore expensive. Just think of a hedge trimmer, with all of its expensive moving parts. Other gardening items are mobile, and, by design, easily picked up and stored in a bag – like a trowel or a pair of pruning shears. If just five or six of these items are left out for a length of time, then a would-be-thief need only mount the fence, pick them all up and flee – all of which might be done in a matter of moments.
In order to minimise this risk, it’s best to place these items somewhere out of sight – ideally, in a secure place. But many of us don’t want to have to bring all of our tools indoors – particularly if they’re dirty. For this reason, the outdoor shed has risen in popularity. Per volume of storage space, they’re a great deal cheaper than the equivalent space in a fixed, brick-and-mortar building. And they can accessed easily from the garden, too.
It’s worth noting, however, that not all sheds are created equally. If you place all of your expensive gardening equipment in a place that’s vulnerable to brute-force entry, then you might end up making a break-in more likely, not less. Visit one of the many retailers of sheds in North Wales, and invest in a decent one, with a padlocked door and blacked-out windows.
We’ve already talked, in the figurative sense, about the merits of placing obstacles in a would-be burglar’s way. But sometimes this obstacle can be quite literal. By placing an enormous, substantial fence in the way of your garden, a burglar might be unable to see its contents. Moreover, they might be unable to scale the obstacle in order to steal them. Such fences are available from any reputable timber and plumber merchant in North Wales.
Ideally, a fence like this should be substantial enough that it can’t easily be smashed down. It should also have some obstacle at the top that ensures that it can’t be leapt over. But few of us want to install razor-wire around our beloved gardens. Fortunately, a more aesthetically-pleasant alternative is available in the form of carefully-sculpted bushes at the top of your fence.
Even the most accomplished gymnast will be unable to climb over such a thing – particularly if it’s covered with thorns. Suffice to say, most intruders are not accomplished gymnasts, and will look elsewhere.
During the hottest period of summer, many of us will open our windows in the hope of restoring some much-needed ventilation to our homes. But doing so, as you might imagine, is not without its risks – particularly if the window is on the ground floor. To make matters worse, many of us elect to keep our windows open even after we leave the house! Sufficed to say, this is just the sort of invitation that may prove irresistible to burglars – so be sure to close any windows before you leave the house.