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Fence and Gate Security

The garden is your home's first line of defence against burglary and theft. Good security around the perimeter of your property can deter burglars. Maintain gates and fences as this will act as a deterrent. If you have a private alleyway down the side of your house, talk to your neighbour about fitting a high, strong lockable gate. If you can see through it this is better as burglars don't like to be seen.

Fence blueRear garden fencing:

  • Install 1.8m high fencing to rear gardens. Planning permission is not normally required, but it is always better to check before you go ahead.
  • Install as close to the ground as possible to prevent an intruder crawling under it. On uneven surfaces, use shorter fencing panels to achieve this.
  • Keep horizontal bracing in the inside and chamfer it by 45 degrees. This reduces the opportunity for criminals to use it as a climbing aid to get out of your garden.
  • Secure fencing panels to the fence posts to prevent them from being lifted out. You can use a variety of brackets for this purpose.
  • Keep your fence or wall in good repair. Old and rotten fences or crumbling walls are not only weak, but advertise that the rest of your home may not be secure as well.

Walls:

  • Installing fencing on top of a low wall may be a much cheaper option than brick. If doing this, ensure that it is flush with the outside edge. This prevents a criminal getting an easy foothold.
  • Do not use decorative ironwork to increase the height of a low rear wall. Its manufacture and design can provide hand or footholds that make it easier to climb over than a straight boarded fence.

Toppings on fences and walls:

  • Diamond design trellis as a topping to your fence, makes it much harder to gain a hand or foothold.  It is also difficult to climb over (especially if entwined with prickly or thorny climbing shrubs).
  • We do not recommend the use of commercial property style toppings (such as razor wire or anti-climb paint or strips) at your home.

Front garden fencing:

  • Low fencing to the front of your home helps to provide a clear boundary to your property. It can make it more difficult for someone to claim that they are on your property by mistake.
  • Check with your local planning department first before installing a fence or wall.
  • We recommend that any wall or fence to the front of your home does not exceed 1m in height. Higher fences (or tall shrubs) reduce visibility and can be counterproductive.

Gates:

  • Rear garden gates should be the same height as your fence (1.8m). It can incorporate the same trellis topping too.
  • If you have access to your rear garden from the front of your home, we recommend that you continue your rear garden fencing (at 1.8m) along the sides of your property. Install gates in line with the front elevation of your home. 
  • Many people install a gate when a low fence meets a higher one. This makes it easy for burglars to climb onto the lower fence and over the gate. Remove the lower fence and perhaps replace with low shrubs. Where this is not possible, we recommend that you use a transitional or curved panel.
  • Closed boarded wooden gates offer greater privacy but allow a greater concealment to a criminal in your back garden.
  • Open boarded gates provide less privacy but decrease the opportunity for a burglar to conceal themselves. Ensure that the gap between boards is small enough to prevent someone getting a good hand or foothold.
  • If choosing an iron gate, pick a design that prevents someone getting a hand or foothold (such as a straight vertical bar design) to minimise the gap between the hinge and the gate.

Gate Furniture and Locks

Regardless of the gate you choose, follow these tips to make them secure:

  • Place hinges to the inside of the gate if possible.
  • If you are using drop on, two part hinges on metal gates, reverse one hinge so that the gate cannot be lifted off.
  • On wooden gates, fit a good quality security hasp and staples one third up the gate and secure with good quality padlocks. Fit a good quality sliding bolt to the bottom of the gate to reinforce the structure.
  • Ensure any furniture on the post is well fitted and secured using strong fixings.
  • A shooting bolt and a good padlock is the simplest solution for metal gates.