Garden sheds are common target for thieves and vandals. Not only are they often filled with garden tools and valuable equipment, but they’re often less secure than the house. What’s more, the tools inside your garden shed can often be used by burglars to help break them break into the house. This means keeping your shed secure is far more important than most people expect – an insecure shed can cost you far more than you think.
We’ve asked our security experts for their top tips on shed security, so read on to learn how to stop thieves in their tracks.
1. Choose the Location Carefully
Ideally, your shed should be positioned so that it cannot be seen from the street, but not so out of sight that you cannot see it from the house. If it does end up being targeted by a thief, then you don’t want them to be able to do it unseen.
2. Anchor the Shed
If your shed is on the small side, a thief could lift one side up to gain access to your belongings. To prevent this from happening, anchor your shed to the ground. Consider using L brackets, screws and rawl plugs, or placing breeze blocks inside to make it too heavy to lift. You could even attach the shed to a wall. This will also prevent your shed from blowing away on windy days.
3. Replace the Door Hinge
Your shed’s door hinge is one of its weak points. They are usually attached with short screws and easily unscrewed or forced off. You can toughen them up by replacing the screws with nuts and bolts and supergluing the nut to the bolt on the inside of the door.
This should deter criminals from trying to prise the door off your shed.
4. Improve the Lock
The lock that your shed comes with will be basic and easily bypassed. A hasp and a strong padlock will be a more secure and relatively inexpensive way to upgrade the security of your shed. While you’ll want the best lock for your shed, you don’t want to make it look like you’ve got something to hide, so it would be risky to attach several padlocks at once.
Closed shackle padlocks like these protect your shed being broken into with bolt cutters and saws because they only have a small section of the shackle unprotected.
5. Obscure Windows
If you shed has windows, thieves will be able to see whether your shed is worth breaking into. If they see something that’s valuable, they are more likely to break in. Windows are also a weak point in the shed’s security, allowing a criminal to easily gain access by breaking the glass or frame.
If your shed is purely used for storage, then you don’t need windows at all and you can block them out completely. You can do this with stick-on, opaque security sheets that have the added bonus of preventing glass shattering, or with a glass-frosting spray.
If you work in your shed and you need the light, consider blinds or curtains, ensuring that they are fully closed when you’re not there.
6. Fit an Alarm
Even with the above precautions in place, a burglar will still be able to break in if they’re wise to your efforts and have the right tools. That’s why fitting an alarm to scare them off is our next tip to a secure shed. Place a motion sensor in the corner of the shed, along with a door sensor, and a siren will sound whenever an intruder is detected.
This ERA Valiant Alarm is wireless, which makes it perfect for the shed as it doesn’t need to be connected to the mains. This means that expensive garden equipment like lawnmowers, hedge-trimmers and family belongings like bikes or sports gear will have another layer of protection.
7. Put Tools Away at Night
Leaving tools out is bad for your property’s security. Not only does it look like you don’t care about your belongings, but the tools could be used to break in to your shed or even your home. Try organising your shed with a peg board and hooks and storage shelves. This way, keeping tools tidy will be quick and easy!
8. Use a Site Box for Smaller Items
While you might have done everything possible to prevent a burglar getting into your shed, there may be times when you’re unlucky and you forget to lock the door behind you.
In this case, you can help prevent a burglar from seeing your valuables by storing them using a site box, keeping your tools out of sight and less likely to be stolen.
9. Lock Large Items Together
On a similar note, if you lock large items together using a bike lock, you can make it awkward for thieves to make off with your belongings. Lock your lawnmower, your bike and your leaf blower together and your burglar will have a hefty, potentially fiddly job on their hands that could put them off altogether.
10. Mark Your Belongings
If all of the above precautions are in place then the likelihood of a burglar stealing your belongings is really quite slim. However, should the unthinkable happen, you can improve the chances of being reunited with your possessions by marking them with a security system. This could be something as simple as a UV pen, or a number of more advanced marking systems. Be sure to register your items with immobilise.com, which will help the police to reunite you with your stolen belongings.