Ultimate Guide to Garden Gate Security
This part of the ultimate guide to home security we look at your garden gate. The garden gate acts as an entry point to the home and is often overlooked when it comes to home security. Along with security lights and motion sensors, we look at the other forms of garden security that will help keep your house safe and burglars deterred.
Garden Gate Security
Whether you need a front, back or side gate, it’s important that you think carefully about your requirements. If you live in the countryside with not many people, you may value aesthetics over security, however if you live in a busy metropolitan area, and have had crime issues, you may want the securest gate possible.
Gate security advice from Staffordshire police:
- 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.
Types of Garden Gate
Metal Security Gates
Today, metal steel gates hold a large proportion within the domestic market as they are natural stronger and do not need reinforcement like with wooden gates. They are also the more popular material as they can be used to create more complex designs within the structure, providing both an attractive attention to the garden and an efficient garden safety feature.
However, there are things that need to be considered with metal security gates are that they must be treated in an external environment to prevent corrosion; otherwise the strength of the gate will deteriorate. Another consideration is that the designs that make a metal security gate more attractive than a wooden gate could pose a big security risk. If the gate features a horizontal solid bar, this could be used by an intruder to climb the fence and gain access to your garden.
The benefits of metal security gates are:
- Durability as they are extremely sturdy and strong.
- Easiness to maintain as it is easy to fix after long time and easy to clean without causing damage.
- Plenty of choices as there are many types and colours you can choose from that matches your property/garden.
Secure Wooden Garden Gates
There are two basic variations of the wooden back garden gate; the ledged and braced gate and the framed, ledged and braced gate. As you can see from the diagram they look the same from the front but one has a stronger frame and design. Often the strength of a wooden gate is determined by the thickness and design, so when choosing a gate look at the size and thickness of the backing rails. The back rails will be the determining factor of how hard it is to break through a wooden gate.
Another thing to note is that if the top grain of the facing material (as you look down on top of the gate) is open to the elements. This is the part of a wooden garden gate that is most likely to absorb water over time leading to rotting around the tops and corners of the gate.
A step up from the basic wooden gate would be ones that are secured with mortice and tenon joints. This type of joint is formed by the tenon; often referred to as a rail, that fits into a square or rectangular corresponding member; the mortice. Designed to fit perfectly together, it connects at right angles and is secured by glue or pins.’
Garden Gate Height
The Staffordshire Police suggest that any rear garden facing fences should be at least 1.8m in height and that your garden gate is level with your fence to keep your garden protected from prying eyes. However, they also suggest that if you have a gate at the front of your property then it should be kept lower so not to conceal your property to the road and any crimes that might be committed.
At the very least your garden gate should be the same height as your walls or fences to give intruders a decreased opportunity to climb over it.
Garden Gate Locks
Garden gates are often secured with a sliding padbolt, these locks are designed to slide across and fix into place being secured by a padlock or combination lock. However, most people tend to abandon a pack lock due to the lack of convenience as once padlocked you cannot unlock it from the other side without difficulty.
This poses a huge security risk to your back garden as just as easy as it is for you to open the gate, it would be that simple for an intruder to enter your back garden. However, if you prefer the convenience another garden gate lock option you can look at is installing a second padbolt at the bottom of the gate, which you can leave undone when looking to come in and out of your garden but when you leave the house you can secure it minimising the risk of an intruder entering your garden gate.
Alternatively you can fit a Long Throwgate Lock for your garden gate that gives you the option of keyed access from either side of your gate; this is very similar to the lock on your front door. The benefit of these locks is that you can add these to both single and double gates for security.
Security Additions to your Garden Gate
Garden Gate Security Bars
Bars can be used as an extra security measure for a minimal cost. A bar is a solid length of metal that is bolted to one side with a padlock latch bolted to the other side; it is secure by placing the bar across the door on the side that it opens out to and locking it in place. This then stops the door from being opened, even after it has been unlocked, giving that extra security.
They can be installed easily and increase the security of your garden by becoming a deterrent to intruders and also strengthens your gate.
Garden Gate Security Spikes
Security strips can be added to your garden gate for an affordable price, these spikes look sharp but they are only painful under pressure. These spikes are a great deterrent to burglars, and although the strips are unsightly you can get them to colour match so they are less noticeable. Garden gate security spikes are also used for an anti-cat or ant-fox purpose.
The slightly more expensive option is to get a gate with spikes incorporated in the design, providing an elegant but practical gate.
Read our ultimate guide to garden fence security here!
Garden Gate Security FAQs:
The hinges should be properly attached to the gateposts and the garden gates should be at least the same height as the fence. A straight shackle or shutter padlock is the best type to use because it is the most difficult for thieves to cut through.
The best way to secure garden gates is to apply a fence as a boundary. Other ways is to add robust locks, lights that can be easily triggered with motion, and apply CCTV and/or alarms.
If your home’s location doesn’t provide much privacy from the road, a strong wood gate is the way to go. If you’re concerned about security, a solid timber gate is a good choice so that no one could peer through.