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Working from Home In Garden Outbuildings

Alert message sent 16/11/2020 16:49:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, increasing numbers of people have been working from home in garden outbuildings. If you have an office in your summerhouse, log cabin or other outbuilding in your garden, you should consider security and how to deter would be burglars. This is also a good time to think about insurance and if you have adequate cover.

Please ensure doors are locked and secured when the office is not in use. The 15-20 minutes you spend on the school run or popping out for essentials is enough time for someone to break into your outbuilding and steal equipment. Remove valuable equipment such as laptops when you leave the office and consider property marking your equipment. Potential burglars or visitors can be made aware you have done this through warning labels and window stickers.

Alarm it. There are many types of alarm systems on the market for indoor and outside use and for all budgets.

Use lighting inside and out. Interior lighting shows that someone is in the outbuilding as the days get shorter. Exterior lighting can be a crime deterrent, especially motion activated lighting and some have digital cameras and video attached. In more remote areas of your garden, solar powered security lights may be a good option.

Consider installing CCTV (closed circuit television). Some systems can now be accessed remotely via the internet or smart phone. Ensure you check privacy laws when installing CCTV systems.

Window security grilles can be a cost effective deterrent and a physical barrier against burglary. You may be able to fit metal grilles to the inside of your doors and windows. Many discreetly concertina back making them unobtrusive. Window shutters can be an effective security measure and also protect against damage to window glass.

Plants that are particularly thorny or prickly can be an effective deterrent when planted in strategic positions, such as underneath windows or below walls and fences, but ensure hedges and shrubs are trimmed back enough to prevent areas where intruders could hide or observe you. Crunchy gravel is also good for paths or areas around your outbuilding.

Thank you.
Message sent by
Karen Collins (Police, Admin/Co-ordinator, Wokingham)

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