Safety first this autumn

POLICE are warning residents with gardens to especially careful when storing expensive gardening tools, cycles, motorbikes and other items.

Ensure your goods are secure, say police.
Ensure your goods are secure, say police.

The onset of autumn could prove to be expensive for those who do not follow simple, but necessary, rules.

Sergeant William Eadie, of the Gorbals police office, said there are basic ways of keeping your possessions safe this winter.

Sgt Eadie said: “Put away all tools and equipment in a locked, garden shed, garage or outside store. If you do not have a shed, etc, store items inside: do not leave them lying about.

“To secure doors, fit a good-quality hasp and padlock.

“For windows, fit window grills internally or use heavy, wire mesh. Reinforced glass is a good alternative.

“Also, fit a net curtain or sticky, opaque film on the windows to stop a person seeing what is inside the shed.

“If the window opens, a window lock should be fitted.”

Sgt Eadie added that residents may wish to fit an alarm to their shed. He pointed out there are three types of alarm system that can be used: infra red, door contact and an alarm within the padlock itself.

All of these can be bought from most DIY store and ironmongers.

Sgt Eadie continued: “Ensure that garden furniture is put away; remember furniture can be used by a thief as a climbing aid to gain entry to your home.

“If possible, try to secure or chain your wheely bins so these can’t be used to get access to window hoppers.

“Similarly, if garden tools are left lying around the garden, they too can be used by a thief to break into your house: they should be stored in a locked shed at the end of the day. Linking garden tools within the shed with a chain can also help reduce the chance of them being stolen or used to break in.

“Remember, garden tools such as forks, spades, rakes, etc are all valuable.”

Police are urging people to security mark furniture and ornaments with paint, engraving or an ultraviolet pen.

Worried residents should itemise goods: a description of the furniture and tools, including a note of the make, model, serial numbers, colours and value of items such as lawnmowers, strimmers and hedge cutters. Where possible, also take a picture of the item.

Sgt Eadie said: “However, there are other ways to protect your home and garden. Gravel paths and drives are a fantastic way of cheaply and unobtrusively discouraging a thief from entering your garden.

“Gravel make a loud noise when stepped on which carries well at night and may wake the homeowners, neighbours or a dog: this is instantly off-putting to a thief.

“Another way to protect your home is to plant prickly hedging around the perimeter of your garden. Pyracantha and several types of Berberis all provide spiky hedging and good cover in your garden.

“Your local garden centre will give appropriate advice.”