Sheds are a popular and easy target for burglaries because of the general ease of access, deficient security and sometimes remote location from the main house. In fact, statistics and surveys of sheds have demonstrated that only a small amount (circa. 10%) of sheds can be considered ‘very well’ secured.
People often underestimate the value of the contents contained within their shed, but they can contain expensive bikes, and valuable tools and gardening equipment. Although sheds aren’t designed to withstand a determined or prolonged intrusion, there are some simple security measures that can be implemented to protect against a potential burglary, as follows:
- Make Shed Difficult to Access;
- Avoid Storing Expensive/Valuable Equipment and Tools in Shed;
- Identify Deficiencies in Design/Construction of Shed;
- Minimise Display of Shed Contents;
- Inspect Hinges;
- Install/Use Quality Locks;
- Install Security Light; and,
- Further Advice/Information on Shed Security.
Make Shed Difficult to Access
- When initially locating a shed, it should be positioned as close the house as practically possible, as a minimum, to ensure that it can be viewed easily from inside the house. In addition, all garden gates should be closed, locked and secured, and natural deterrents such as thorn bushes and gravel should be strategically placed outside the shed. For example, place thorn bushes around the side of the shed to deter criminals and place gravel around it so that anyone outside the shed will make a lot of noise.
Avoid Storing Expensive/Valuable Equipment and Tools in Shed
- Similar to garages (refer to hyperlink Key Measures for the Safety and Security of Garages), sheds tend to become ‘dumping areas’ for items that can’t be stored in a house. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid storing expensive/valuable equipment and tools (power tools, golf clubs, etc.) in a shed.
Identify Deficiencies in Design/Construction of Shed
- Prior to considering any locks or other physical security measures, inspect the shed for any deficiencies (e.g. areas of rot in the roof, doors and window frames) and devise a plan for to implement corrective action (e.g. repair roof defects and re-inforce/replace any areas of rot).
Minimise Display of Shed Contents
- A simple measure to minimise displaying the contents of a shed is to install curtains and ensure that they are drawn at all times to obscure any view from outside of the shed.
- For a more physical and protective measure, but obviously depending on the value of the contents in the shed, windows can be secured using laminated (toughened) glass, or by installing a purpose-made grille against the windows on the inside of the shed.
- The security of a shed security can be enhanced by improving the quality of the hinges. Loose or exposed hinges are easy to unscrew because sheds are generally constructed with short screws. All defective hinges should be replaced with new hinges containing a non-removable pin, which in turn should be secured with coach bolts with smooth heads so that they can’t be undone with a screwdriver.
Install/Use Quality Locks
- Install a high-quality hasp and staple to the shed and secure it with coach bolts, using a quality padlock (e.g. closed shackle padlock) in combination with the hasp and staple. A closed shackle padlock is highly recommended because there is less of the hoop exposed, making it more difficult to cut with bolt cutters. It is also recommended that two sets of hasps and staples and padlocks are used, and that one is installed approximately one third down from the top of the door, and that the other is installed one third up from the bottom of the door.
- Within the shed itself, large items should be locked together with a chain or cable lock, which makes them difficult to lift and remove if access is obtained. For example, a barbeque chained to a lawnmower will be extremely difficult to lift and remove due to the weight, size and sheer awkwardness of the combined load.
Insert picture of padlock, hasp and staple if one is available.
Install Security Light
- A further security measure is to install a motion-activated security light such as that described in Key Measures for the Safety and Security of Garages. However, caution should be exercised with this measure because it should only be installed (if one has not been installed for garage security purposes) if the shed is visible from the house.
Further Advice/Information on Shed Security
For further information on shed safety and security, please contact us on 07940900617.