How to keep your garden furniture safe
Usually, when you shop for cheap garden furniture, you're not expecting to be targeted by a criminal mastermind for doing so. But on the mean streets of Maidstone in Kent, one such thief is doing the rounds: more than £1,000 worth of garden furniture and barbecue equipment was stolen from the local B&Q earlier this month, with the local police constable warning that 'if anyone is offered brand new, boxed furniture I would ask them to be cautious'. Scotland Yard are presumably working round the clock to crack the case.
Okay, maybe this isn't the start of a nationwide chair-snatching crime wave. But it still doesn't hurt to look at ways in which you can keep your own garden furniture secure, especially as we enter the height of the summer season. Fortunately, many of the best tips are simply common sense. If you're concerned about leaving your patio furniture exposed at night, bring them inside when you're going to bed or put them in a locked garage or shed. If you have decking in your back garden, a possible option is bolting your furniture to the raised wooden surface; a thief looking to act quickly and quietly will simply move on, rather than slow down and risk the inevitable racket that would follow trying to remove a secured object. Taking photographs of all your most valuable items is a great idea in case the worst does happen, making it easier to identify what's been taken, and writing something on the furniture with a UV marker is another method of labelling your property without the thieves noticing.
Of course, there's another assailant to keep an eye out for, especially considering the typical British summer. The weather can be your biggest adversary when looking after your outdoor furniture, with rain and wind wreaking havoc. Invest in a good-sized all-weather cover to keep the elements at bay. Treat your furniture with a good quality wood stain or water repellent, and don't just do it once; it needs to be done regularly to ensure the quality of the finish, as well as keeping away mould and rot. Once again, common sense is the best approach, so follow these basic tips and you'll be enjoying your furniture for years to come.