While most of us ensure our house alarm is switched on, windows/doors locked and a light left on when we go on holiday, how secure is our garden?
As many people prepare to take their summer break, Harrison Murray estate agents, in light of a recent survey, are warning homeowners against green-fingered thieves.
Findings of research by a well-known comparison website reveal that one in five homeowners had been victim to garden thefts or vandalism while they were away on holiday.
It says the average value of property either stolen or damaged was estimated to be worth just over £300, while 16 per cent of homeowners affected suffered losses to the tune of £500 or more.
Harrison Murray head of estate agency Nick Salmon said: “While the majority of homeowners think of their garden as an extension of their living space – with nice ornaments and stylish furniture – some don’t always think about the value and security of their outdoor possessions in the same way as they do their house.
“Homeowners can take a few simple steps to protect their garden against green-fingered thieves, particularly during the summer.”
If you are going away, even for the weekend – lock any back or side gates or other entrances to the garden.
Pack away out of sight any garden tools or equipment.
Secure expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball.
Use a security pen to mark valuable items, like garden furniture, ornaments or trampolines, with your postcode.
Install security lighting.
Mend any broken fences or boundary gaps to deter opportunist thieves. Consider defensive planting like prickly hedges or shrubs.
According to the research the top five items stolen or damaged from gardens were:
Bicycles (20 per cent)
Garden sculptures or ornaments (16 per cent)
Trees or shrubs (15 per cent)
Garden furniture (12 per cent)
Lawn mowers (8 per cent)