What is the best way to catch burglars?

A news story has revealed how one home owner in London, caught a burglary suspect with a camera initially set up to film wildlife.  This story reveals just how useful these cameras can be in catching thieves and clamping down on burglaries.

If you’re worried about garden theft and burglary, this is one top security measure that we would recommend. If you are thinking about installing a home security camera system, location of your cameras is key.

Don't make it easy for thieves to get to your home

Don’t make it easy for thieves to get to your home

Choosing a security camera

When choosing your home security camera, check that you receive a clear image in both the day and night time. There are a variety of different security cameras available such as infra red security cameras, dome cameras, pro box cameras, pan tilt zoom cameras and hidden cameras. Each of these cameras will offer a different image quality and will meet different user needs.

When placing your security camera choose an area which is both high up and sheltered from the elements.  Placing your security camera near the roof will also give you the best view and reduce the risk of vandalism.  Make sure you fit enough cameras to cover all entrances to your home and garden.

Other ways to secure your home

Fitting security cameras is just one of the many ways that you can secure your home. We’ve come up with a number of tips to protect your home and garden from theft. 

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How to build raised beds

If you want to do something new with your garden, building raised beds is a great idea. They are great for growing a wide range of plants, fruits such as strawberries, currants, raspberries and blackberries and almost any vegetable.

Raised beds allow you to:

  • Increase soil temperature
  • Improve drainage
  • Match soil type to the plant
  • Improve ease of access

Winter is a good time to build raised beds in preparation for spring.

How to build raised beds

How to build raised beds

Building your raised beds

Step 1: Choose the correct site

Choose an area clear of plants and remove any perennial weeds. You could also choose an area of lawn. For the framework you will need to use wood that has been treated against rot.

Step 2: Lay out your frame

When decided on the size of your raised beds, the length can be whatever you choose but it is advised that you keep the width to around 1.2m, so that you can easily reach around.

Lay out your wood and mark the corners with canes.

Step 3: Cut the bed

Remove your wooden boards and join the canes with string to mark out the position of your raised bed. If you are building your raised beds on grass, you will need to cut out the grass using a spade, with about 10cm on each side of the string. Slide the spade underneath the grass to cut pieces about 5cm thick. Take these cut out pieces and lay them evenly across the bed.

Step 4: Build the frame

Lay your wooden plants side-on along the bare earth outline you just created and join at each corner with one of two galvanised metal brackets.

Step 5: Fill with compost

Fill your bed with compost and compact it inside by treating it down. The middle of the bed should be slightly higher than the frame to allow for setting.

Step 6: Secure your frame

Hammer small sharpened pegs around our frame to help hold the boards in place.

Now you’re ready to plant!

National Home Security Month: Outdoor Security

It’s the 4th week of National Home Security Month. This week is focussed on outside protection and as you know, here at Asgard we know all about that!  During the winter it is especially important to keep your outdoor items safe and secure, as the cover of darkness gives burglars and thieves more opportunities to strike.

Garden sheds and garages are easy targets for thieves, as they can be quickly broken into without disturbing the household. These type of thieves can strike without you even knowing its happened, so it is important to make sure you have provided your garden shed or garage with the best possible defences.  Think of all of the expensive equipment you have stored inside your shed, power tools, lawnmowers, bikes and the children’s toys. These would be costly to replace and your insurance may not cover it.

Don't make it easy for thieves to get in your garden shed

Don’t make it easy for thieves to get in your garden shed

How to keep your garden shed or garage safe:

  • Always lock your shed/garage – this is simple and easy to do, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget.
  • Secure shed doors by fitting a strong hasp and staple.
  • Secure shed door hinges with coach bolts or non-turnable screws.
  • Replace any rotten wood – as this is easy to break.
  • Fit alarm to your garage or shed – try this motion sensor alarm.
  • Chain items such as bikes, ladders and lawnmowers to a strong anchor point.
  • Mark all items in your shed with your postcode.
  • Check that your insurance covers your shed/garage.

If your garden shed isn’t up to the task of storing your items securely and you want to increase the security of your items, then an Asgard high security garden shed is what you need. These tough metal storage units have been designed to stop thieves in their tracks and leave your garden items safe!

High security garden storage.

High security garden storage.

Asgard high security garden sheds are available in a selection of sizes and have been approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board to Level 1, which may help to reduce insurance premiums.  To keep all of your items safe, these sheds are made from weatherproof steel and are fitted with a number of heavy duty features including a 5 point locking system and reinforced components.

National Home Security Month

October is almost upon us, a month which is known for Halloween and turning the clocks back (here in the UK anyway). However I’m sure many of you didn’t realise that October is also National Home Security Month.

As winter approaches, our nights get longer which means there is more chance for burglars to strike. National Home Security Month has been designed to help create awareness around home security, highlighting ways that people can keep their homes safe during the darker evenings.

National Home Security Month is sponsored by Yale and Asgard Secure Steel Storage is happy to be a proud official supporter.

NHSM-logo-297x300

Each week of October will focus on a different home security issue.

  • The 1st to 6th October is all about knowing the crime risk in your area and how to find out more about burglaries near where you live.
  • The 7th to 13th October will focus on how to secure your windows and doors.
  • The 14th to 20th October will be full of tips on how to keep your valuables safe.
  • The 21st to 27th October is going to be all about outside protection, an Asgard speciality!
  • Finally the 28th the 31st October will be looking at the future technology of home security.

As an official supporter of National Home Security Month, we’ll be providing you with information and advice on how to keep your home safe.

Find out more on the National Home Security Month website.

Autumn gardening tips

Autumn is quickly approaching and your garden will be undergoing its yearly transformation. To help you get prepared, here is a quick list of things to do in your garden.

What to do in early autumn

  • Bring tender plants under cover before the first frosts arrives
  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Plant spring bedding plants
  • Sow hardy annuals in boarders for earlier flowers next summer
Autumn gardening

Autumn gardening

What to do in mid autumn

  • Tidy up perennials
  • Plant deciduous trees and shrubs
  • Move shrubs that are growing in the wrong places
  • Lay new lawns, making sure the soil isn’t too wet
  • Apply autumn lawn feed

What to do in late autumn

  • Plant roses and hedging plants
  • Clear up fallen leaves and compost them
  • Plant tulips and hyacinths
  • Dig over vacant soil and spread a thick layer of compost

 

How to secure your garden

Garden security is important all year round, but the risk of garden theft becomes a particular problem in winter as the number of daylight hours decreases. A few simple changes can add some much needed protection.

Front Garden

A secure front garden can also help protect your home from a break-in.

  • Make sure the front of your house is visible from the road.
  • Fences, hedges and gates shouldn’t be more than 1 metre high.
  • Use gravel for driveways, as they are noisy.
  • Fit security lighting.
  • Make sure your house is alarmed.
Don't make it easy for thieves to get in your garden

Don’t make it easy for thieves to get in your garden

Gates

  • Wooden gates are easy to climb, cover cross members with panelling so it isn’t so easy to climb
  • Wrought iron gates are difficult to climb and may be a better deterrent.
  • Use two locks if possible.

Fences

Fences offer vital protection from thieves, helping to keep them out.

  • A garden fence should be over 2 meters tall to help keep garden thieves out.
  • Add trellis to your fencing, as anyone attempting to use this to climb will surely break it and fall.
  • Plant spikey leaf plants and bushed along your fence.

Garden equipment

  • Don’t leave any equipment out in your garden, this will be stolen or used as a method to break into your home.
  • Mark your postcode and house number on all of your equipment and expensive garden items with ultraviolet pen or engrave.

Garden sheds

Keep your garden shed securely locked

Keep your garden shed securely locked

Garden sheds and garages are vulnerable to theft. The value of the contents of a garden shed can easily reach into the thousands of pounds, so it is important to keep them as secure as possible.

  • Make sure your garden shed is always locked.
  • Fit a heavy duty lock, for the best protection.
  • If your shed has windows, board them up.
  • Fit your shed/garage with its own alarm system.
  • Consider upgrading your existing wooden shed to a stronger, more secure metal shed.

For more information on garden security visit http://www.asgardsss.co.uk

Do gardening programmes make gardening look easy?

Gardening programmes on the TV have been blamed for making gardening appear easy, especially when it comes to growing vegetables. This is said to have resulted in a number of allotment holders being evicted from their plots.

With the price of food increasing, many people have taken to growing their own food or at least attempting to. I am one of those people, I have yet to venture further than herbs, chillies and tomatoes but it’s a start!

Many amateur gardeners have been fooled into thinking that growing your own food is easy and doesn’t take much effort. This has led to a large number of allotment holders being evicted from their unkempt plots.

Growing vegetables isn't as easy as TV makes out.

Growing vegetables isn’t as easy as TV makes out.

Any keen gardener will know the sheer amount of graft necessary to maintain a successful vegetable plot. Gardeners who have little experience are becoming down heartened and are giving up their plots to the weeds and because of this a record number of plot holders are being evicted for leaving their soil unworked.

Chairman of The Allotments & Gardens Council, Reg Knowles said “Unfortunately people watch the gardening presenters on TV and don’t really see how they have a paid team working seven days a week on their plot. When they realise they have to do all the work themselves, it’s a lot and you have to be able to put the time in.”

There is a misconception that allotments are easy to maintain. Before taking on an allotment plot it is important to make sure you are aware of the work and effort involved.  The average plot needs around 8 hours of work a week, which for many may seem like too much.

If you already have an allotment, make sure your tools are protected and stored securely. Read our article on allotment theft, for tips on how to keep your allotment secure. For a secure allotment shed, take a look at the Asgard garden sheds.