National Home Security Month focuses on creating awareness around the importance of home security. Pressures of day-to-day life can mean that home security is often overlooked and the focus on ensuring our front and back doors are locked can mean that we overlook garden gates, making them an easy target.
Statistics collected by SunLife General have shown that between April 2015 and March 2016 there were 730,000 garden thefts in the UK. That’s one theft every 43 seconds. And as British Summer Time comes to an end, there is reason to believe that thieves are taking advantage of the darker nights. In fact, the Office of National Statistics states robberies are 58% more likely at night.
It’s safe to assume very few of us would leave our homes without locking the front door. However, it seems that the same caution is not always applied to the rest of our property, with many garden gates being left unlocked. An error that can leave valuable flora and fauna, equipment and pets susceptible to theft and gardens open to trespass.
Traditionally garden gates have been locked with a length of chain and secured with a padlock. Whilst better than nothing, chains can easily be removed with bolt cutters, and padlocks can become fiddly and hard to open in cold weather.
Convenience is key
For day-to-day access an alternative to key locks are push-button locks. Low maintenance and with a hardwearing finish, Codelocks mechanical and electronic locks are ideally designed to be installed externally.
There is a wide range of reasonably priced mechanical and electronic locks available for all types of doors on sheds and gates. The locks are available with different mortice latch and deadbolt options and have either a knob or lever handle.
Not only are they easy to install but they are also extremely easy to use, meaning they are suitable for the whole family. Access is easily obtained by pushing the buttons on the keypad, with the door relocking automatically once closed.
Access control locks always require a double level of security with gate bolts and night time locking for peace of mind.
Who’s got the gate key?
With coded locks it’s more convenient for you to provide access to the gardener or window cleaner without having to leave the gate unlocked all day. It saves you the burden of having to keep track of garden keys too.
Coded locks offer a heightened level of security and improved functionality. In fact, electronic locks allow for access control to be upgraded in a matter of minutes, allowing for up to 80 user codes. Whilst electronic locks require a power source, a staggering 80,000 operations are possible from 2 x AA cells, plus low battery warnings ensure that you are forewarned should the batteries need replacing.
For exposed areas and harsh environments, weather covers can be fitted to locks to help maintain the finish and ensure trouble free operation of the lock.
Beyond gate and shed locks, there are some other security solutions that will maximize your garden security:
Your garden fence should be your first line of defence when it comes to trespassers. Ideally fences in your back garden should stand at around 1.8m (6ft). However, if there is public access running adjacent to your property the height may be increased to 2m (6ft 6 inches). Alternatively, trellis and thorny plants can also act as a deterrent against unwelcome visitors.
You wouldn’t dream of leaving your house unlocked with all your valuables on display, so why should your garden be any different? Garden furniture, toys, barbeques and bikes should all be stored away from prying eyes when not in use. Plus, anything that could be used to gain access to your house, such as ladders and tools. Even wheelie bins have been used by burglars to gain a leg up into homes!
Shine a light on it
Security lights that are triggered by movement or those which automatically come on in the dark can be invaluable in the darker months, not only as a deterrent for thieves but also allowing for better visibility when outside your house at night.
To view our full range of keyless access products for the home and garden visit our website.
Find out more about National Home Security Month here.