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Beach Hut Security and Winterisation Tips


Brightly coloured beach huts are an intrinsic architectural feature of many British seaside locations. Along with ice creams, candy floss and sand in our sandwiches, beach huts are an important part of what many of us consider to be a traditional British seaside experience, along with our dubious British weather. In this post we look at the important topics of both beach hut security and winterisation.

We Love Our Beach Huts

It is estimated that there are now around 20,000 beach huts around the UK in a variety of seaside locations from Hove to Lowestoft, Rotherslade, Weymouth and beyond.

Beach huts have grown in popularity throughout the 20th century, following the first world war. Previously, people had used what were called bathing machines, towed out into the sea to enable bathers to discretely emerge in their bathing costumes, directly into the ocean. Some of these old bathing machines were subsequently adapted into beachside changing huts by removing their wheels, allowing early beach lovers to preserve their decency when changing into their swimming suits. These were probably the very first of the beach huts we see today.

Times have certainly moved on. The value and price of beach huts has increased enormously, reflecting the high demand for these seaside sheds. Many now change hands for tens of thousands of pounds and a recent report highlights a beach hut on Mudeford Spit in Christchurch, Dorset which went on the market for a staggering price of £350,000. Another beach hut in this desirable location was sold in 2020 for £330,000 with local council fees of £4500 per year. Beach huts are clearly highly valued by British beach lovers.

Beach Hut Security Tips

Since beach huts are generally in locations remote from owners’ homes they present a notable security challenge. The importance of beach hut security has been starkly highlighted in the high number of crime reports. For example, a 15 year old boy was arrested for an arson attack on a beach hut at the expensive Mudeford location where huts change hands for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

And a recent report from Eastbourne highlights how a beach hut had been broken into and used as a drug den by intruders who left dangerous drug paraphernalia lying around inside. In another report from Hove, paddleboards valued at £800 were stolen from a beach hut. And in a report from Littlehampton, 17 beach huts were broken into and vandalised.

Beach hut crime has prompted UK seaside police forces to issue valuable security guidance. They recommend that beach hut owners ensure their huts are cared for and well maintained as huts which look scruffy and uncared for tend to be targeted most often by criminals and vandals.

They also recommend that beach hut doors and door frames are as robust as possible, ideally constructed from hardwood. Also, that the door frame and beach hut are firmly and securely fixed to the ground. Their recommendations highlight the need for robust door hinges and how any hinges on outward opening doors should be protected with hinge bolts or hinge hooks. They also point out that if mortice locks are used they must comply with BS3621 and ideally two locks should be fitted at one third spacing.

Police forces also recommend the use of London/Birmingham bars to reinforce beach hut door frames. And another practical security recommendation is to use a Shed Bar across the beach hut door, securely bolted through the hut structure and attached to robust steel plates on the inside. And all beach hut windows should be protected with robust, locked shutters.

beach hut with shed bar door protection
Beach Hut with Shed Bar Door Security

Police forces strongly recommend that valuables are never left inside beach huts. Also, owners should ensure they don’t leave any flammable or combustible items behind, such as gas canisters or matches. If there are items, such as furnishings, which remain inside a beach hut these should be securely locked in place using a shed shackle along with appropriate security chains and padlocks.

Another important recommendation is to work with other beach hut owners to keep an eye on one another’s properties and immediately report anything suspicious to the local Police Force. Further recommendations from Police forces include the installation of battery operated alarms and motion triggered lighting.

Beach Hut Padlocks

Many beach hut owners use padlocks to secure their doors and windows, making it essential that the locks used can withstand the rigours of British seaside winters. This means they must be weatherproof and ideally constructed from stainless steel.

weatherproof marine padlock
Squire Weatherproof Marine Padlock

Our weatherproof, marine padlocks are a popular choice for beach hut security.

master discus padlock
Master Discus Padlock

Our discus padlocks, as recommended by police forces, are ideal for beach hut security.

It should also be ensured that wherever hasps and staples are used they must be top quality, high security devices, robustly installed using security fixings to ensure they can`t be easily detached.

Beach Hut Winterisation

Beach huts need to withstand the rigours of British seaside winters which generally involve gale force winds, horizontal rainfall and aggressive, salty sea spray. External metalwork, padlocks, mortice locks, hinges and hasps can all suffer from corrosion if they aren’t designed to withstand these conditions.

Some beach hut owners go to the trouble of smothering their padlocks in grease and even wrap them in polythene bags in their attempts to weatherproof them. Some like to use the well known WD40 spray to help prevent their locks from corroding and becoming difficult to operate but a far better product is our GT85 lock cleaning and lubricant spray.

gt85 lock cleaning lubricating spray
GT85 Padlock Cleaning and Lubricating Spray

Importantly, high quality padlocks, designed for marine and outdoor applications, don’t require much maintenance but they must be kept clean, which is exactly what the GT85 spray is designed for.

It should be noted that graphite based lock lubricating powder is only suitable for indoor use in dry conditions as it can clog up locks when used in damp environments.

As previously recommended, beach hut maintenance is essential for winterisation. All doors and windows must be robustly secured against both unwanted intruders and the weather. Its worthwhile ensuring all aspects of a beach hut’s structure are as strong and robust as possible. Make certain there are no gaps through which wind and rain can penetrate into the beach hut where it might cause expensive damage.

Its also worth ensuring beach huts are well painted and protected from the relentless impact of wind-driven salty rain and sea spray. Wooden beach hut structures can be severely damaged by the impact of coastal storms and since the intensity of these events is unpredictable its always worth ensuring weatherproof protection goes beyond being simply adequate.

If you have any questions about beach hut security and which padlocks are most suitable remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.

This message was added on Thursday 21st October 2021

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