Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Tips for better garden security

  • 8, Feb 2024
  • Read time: 9 mins

Many of us love spending time in our gardens. Whether you're catching up with friends or feeling green fingered. So, it's important to get the right home insurance to cover your outdoor belongings.

This guide will show you some ways you can improve the security of your garden, and home.

Family BBQ in the garden.

Ways to protect your garden

Over the summer months, thefts from homes and gardens tend to increase. Making our gardens and the spaces around our homes more secure can help reduce this risk.

Unsecured garden furniture can be easy pickings for thieves. It’s good practice to store garden furniture in your garage, outbuildings or home when you aren’t using it.

If you're using garages or outbuildings for storage, remember to lock them. Or use cable locks or ground anchors to secure your garden furniture to something sturdy.

8 key areas to help improve garden security

Aerial view of home. Home security infographic.

1. Sheds and outbuildings

Most of us keep our garden items in a shed or secure storage space. It’s important you lock away garden furniture and tools when not in use to prevent theft.

Here are some ways you can improve the security of your outbuildings:


Use a secure lock or padlock. A lock can act as a deterrent and slows down thieves when trying to access your property. 


Make sure any windows are securely shut. Locked if possible. Obscure the view to ensure no-one sees your belongings inside.


If you store expensive items in your outbuildings, consider installing an alarm system. These can act as a deterrent as well as alerting you to an intruder.

Our Standard or Extra contents policies include cover for theft from outbuildings. You'll get up to £5,000 cover with our Standard cover. This goes up to £10,000 if you choose Extra. Sports equipment, like bicycles, is also included. Bicycle insurance for outside of the home can also be added as an optional extra.

2. Lighting and CCTV

Having good lighting around your home and garden can help give you extra peace of mind. Lighting often discourages thieves.

Though more expensive, CCTV or motion-detecting lights can also act as a deterrent. There are options to link the system up to your mobile phone, so you'll receive alerts when you're away from home.

3. Gates and fences

Make sure your gates and fences are secure and try to repair any damage, such as holes and rusty screws.

You may think having high fences and lots of greenery to screen your home will help, but this isn’t always the case. A low fence, small plants or shrubs (less than 1 metre) in front of your home can make it trickier for burglars to hide.

Make sure there’s nothing to climb on or up that would make it easier to get into your garden. Consider putting padlocks on gates, especially if you're planning to be away from home for a while.

If you have pets, you should check there are no holes in your hedges, fences or gates that they could escape through.

4. Drives and pathways

Using gravel on paths and driveways can help improve garden security. This is due to the crunching sound when people walk over it, alerting you to potential intruders.

You should also consider how you park your car. Try to avoid leaving large spaces between vehicles. This will prevent burglars from being able to make a quick getaway!

5. Remove climbable items

These are items that can help burglars gain access to your home, like ladders or bins. They should be hidden out of sight or stored away securely.

6. Garden equipment

Leaving your belongings out in the open can be an open invitation for thieves. Children’s toys, BBQs and lawnmowers are all potential targets.

Once you’ve finished using them, put them away in a safe place.

Consider marking your equipment using invisible ink. This will aid recovery if they’re stolen and found, so make sure to write your postcode.

Another tip is to take photographs of your valuable possessions. This includes items such as garden furniture and bikes. This will help the police recover them if stolen and when making a claim on your insurance.

To prevent your plant pots from being stolen, you can place bricks inside to weigh them down. You can also buy tree anchors for larger shrubs and trees to secure them in the ground.

Check your contents insurance

Home contents insurance doesn’t always cover garden items and plants as standard. Learn more about our contents cover and what’s included.

7. Prickly plants

The Metropolitan Police recommend placing prickly plants around your home. They can help deter potential intruders. Talk to your local garden centre for advice, or learn more about the best plants to deter burglars.

Here are a few good options:

  • Agave 
  • Berberis
  • Blackberry, gooseberry (any soft fruits with thorns)
  • Pyracantha
  • Chaenomeles
  • Ribes
  • Ilex or holly
  • Climbing roses
  • Mahonia
  • Ligustrum (privet), or laurel
  • Smilax and Zanthoxylum

Pampas, yucca, and gooseberry bushes can all help keep burglars at bay. Prune trees to remove any potential hiding places. Plus, check there are no spaces between bushes for anyone to slip through or hide.

8. Bicycles

Many of us leave our bikes in the garden. However, there's always a risk they'll be stolen due to being light, valuable and easy to sell. Consider a lock or storing them in a secure outbuilding, which will make them trickier to steal.

Find out more about covering your bicycles with our contents insurance.

If you need cover for your bike away from your home, you'll need personal possessions cover. With this additional cover, your bikes will be covered anywhere in the UK and for up to 90 days abroad.

Get the right cover

If you’re worried about theft from your garden, make sure you've got the right contents insurance.

If you've made improvements, such as building a summer house, make sure these are covered too. This includes all items in sheds or outbuildings and belongings left out in your garden.

Many insurers may include a limited amount of cover for items kept in the garden. But you may be able to take out upgraded cover for added peace of mind. If in doubt, speak to your insurer or check your policy documents.

Learn more about our home insurance and all our cover options

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