If you’ve got a garden, chances are that you’ve got a shed. After all, it’s pretty convenient to have somewhere to put the lawnmower and all your tools (not to mention some junk that you might need one day…). And if you’ve got a shed, then you really should be thinking about securing it. Don’t believe us? Then read on!
Why Secure My Shed?
There are a couple of big reasons why you should be securing your shed. Firstly, believe it or not, the items inside probably do have some value. Tools and lawnmowers can get expensive, and having them stolen isn’t going to be great. The hassle of going through your insurance and replacing everything is going to be time-consuming.
Perhaps more importantly though is the fact that once thieves have broken into your shed then they probably then have access to all the tools they’ll need to break into your home. Securing your shed can be a matter of not just protecting what’s inside it, but also protecting your house.
If you’re thinking about securing your shed, then there are some areas of vulnerability that you should be considering. And we’re about to tell you what those are, and what you should be doing about them.
Weak Spot 1: Location
Where you put your shed can be key. If at all possible you should place your shed so that it can’t be seen from the street, but also so that you can see it from your home. This decreases the chance of opportunistic thieves. Plus, try not to place sheds against walls/fences/hedges that have streets on the other side of them, this just makes things easy for thieves.
Weak Spot 2: The Structure Itself
Sheds aren’t generally built to be especially rugged. For the most part, they’re light, wooden structures. Your first level of protection should be anchoring your shed to the ground. This can be done in numerous ways, from sinking posts in concrete to using brackets, and will stop thieves from being able to simply lift the light structure up. If you can’t anchor your shed, try putting bricks or breeze blocks in the corners to make it too heavy to lift.
You should also look for structural weaknesses, such as rotting wood or loose boards. These can easily be replaced or fixed. If you’re storing expensive stuff inside you might even want to think about putting panels on the inside walls to make breaking through those walls even more difficult.
Finally, take a look at the roof of your shed. Many sheds have simple “pop off” roofs that make burgling easy. Ensure that the roof is screwed down into the structure of the shed itself so that it can’t be lifted off.
Weak Spot 3: Locks
Maybe the most obvious security weak spot in a shed is the door lock, especially if you’re still using the flimsy default padlock that came with the shed. Firstly, check out the hasp. Is it sturdy? Is it well attached? If not, replace it, ensuring that it can’t be levered off easily. Then invest in a decent padlock, preferably something rustproof and weatherproof. We recommend going with a high-quality Abus padlock with a protected shackle that can't be chopped off with bolt cutters in seconds like a cheaper lock.
You might also want to think about installing a traditional Yale lock if appropriate, or even an electronic lock if you’re storing valuables.
A decent lock can be a lifesaver. But of course, a lock is only going to protect your assets if you actually use it. Do make sure that you make a habit of locking your shed every time you close the door.
Weak Spot 4: Windows
Not all sheds have windows. But if yours does, then you have yet another potential vulnerability. We do recommend that you keep windows covered since this means that thieves won’t be tempted by what they can see inside (and may skip your “mystery box” shed for one where they know what they’re going to get). You can either block off windows entirely with wood or use security film to make them opaque and shatterproof.
On the same note, remember to check window frames. Rotten frames can make it easy to simply push in a window.
Weak Spot 5: Hinges
Whilst locks might be an obvious potential weak spot, not many people consider door hinges as a vulnerability. Weak hinges mean that it’s easy to pull a door out, making breaking in super simple. Check the hinges on your shed door and replace flimsy nails with nuts and bolts (you can glue the nut to the bolt to make things extra secure).
What Else Can I Do?
We’ve talked about weaknesses in your shed that need to be protected, but there are other ways that you might want to consider securing your property as well:
- Fit an alarm system. Okay, this might not be necessary for most sheds, but if you’ve got expensive stuff inside, it could be worth it.
- Add security lights. Sheds can be easy to break into simply because they tend to be located in dark corners. Fitting a security light with a motion detector could be enough to deter potential thieves.
- Lock big items together. You can use a chain and padlock or a bike lock to secure big items like lawnmowers to each other or to the structure of the shed itself. This makes these items difficult to move and transport, meaning thieves might just have to leave them where they are.
- Always put your tools away. You have a shed, so use it. Leaving tools outside at night not only means that they might get stolen but also means that thieves can potentially use those tools to break into your shed.
- Mark your tools. You can buy a cheap UV pen that will let you invisibly mark your big tools and expensive things like lawnmowers. This way if your stuff does get stolen you might be able to recover it. You may also want to keep an inventory of what’s stored in your shed since this will make police reports and insurance claims easier. Include serial numbers whenever you can.
- Ensure that your shed is covered by your home insurance. Not all home insurance policies cover outside buildings, and when they do they may have specific requirements in regards to locks and locations. It’s best to check coverage before the worst happens.
Secure Your Shed!
Having your shed broken into might not be as traumatic as having your home broken into, but it’s still something that you’ll want to avoid if possible. By using the right security measures and spending a little time fixing any weak points, you should be able to decrease the chances of thieves breaking in quite easily. And don’t forget to lock the doors!