The days are getting longer, the snow is melting and the grass is getting greener. That’s right, spring has nearly sprung! It’s now time for us to put away our snow blowers and break out the lawn mowers. Any homeowner knows the value of good landscaping equipment, from weed-whackers to hedge trimmers; the problem is, so do burglars. Just like we secure the valuables inside our homes, we need to keep the valuable equipment in our garages and sheds safe from thieves. While securing outdoor facilities can be difficult, there are plenty of steps that can be taken to make sure your landscaping equipment stays where it belongs.
- Install motion-activated lights. One of the biggest enemies to a burglar is a well-lit property, however it isn’t always practical to have your outdoor lights on all night, every night. Motion-activated lights are a perfect, energy saving solution that serve several purposes. Once activated, they will startle the trespasser, similar to a siren, while also making them visible to any passersby. Secondly, the emergence of light can serve as a notifier to the homeowner that someone is on their property.
- Install outdoor cameras. Similar to motion-activated lights, many modern cameras can detect motion and instantly send clips to the user’s phone or computer, notifying them of activity on their property. Many camera models also offer DVR storage, so you can review footage of any activity before and after an event takes place. If you wake up to find any items missing, you can review the tape to look for suspicious activity. When installing outdoor cameras, be sure to place them in high, hard-to-tamper-with places and ensure the cameras are weatherproofed to survive extreme temperatures and weather events.
- Take inventory of your equipment. Keep a running list of all of the equipment in your garage or shed, especially the most valuable items. Most heavy-duty equipment will have a serial number somewhere on them and the ability to register the item. Check with the original user’s manual to see if you have to ability to register your equipment as proof of purchase. Finally, take pictures from several angles of each item. Should an item go missing, these pictures will come in handy not just for the hopeful retrieval of the item, but also for any insurance claims.
- Keep everything locked. This may seem like the most obvious answer, but it’s something many homeowners don’t consider for their outdoor buildings. Whether it’s a built-in door lock, a pad lock or a combination lock, adding the extra layer of security can be a simple enough barrier to deter a burglar. To take it a step further, consider chaining more expensive equipment to walls or furniture in your garage or shed to keep them locked down. Sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective.
It may never occur to us that someone would want to steal an item as unglamorous as a leaf blower, but burglars often view outdoor enclosures as quick and easy targets. Take some time this spring to secure your property and keep all of your items, inside and out, safe.