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Importance of Weatherproof Security for Beach Huts

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Ensuring beach huts are protected against vandalism and break-ins is essential. In this latest post we look at the importance of genuinely weatherproof beach hut security solutions.

As summer approaches people are revisiting their beach huts for the first time in many months. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, beach hut security and beach hut winterisation are important aspects of beach hut ownership that mustn’t be overlooked.

Vandals Repeatedly Attacking Beach Huts

A recent report from Great Yarmouth highlights the problem with beach hut vandalism that many experience in seaside resorts around the British Isles. A dog-friendly cafe owner, who has four beach huts on the North Beach Promenade, has finally decided he cannot keep on repairing the huts which are repeatedly subjected to mindless attacks by vandals. He describes the sad demise of his beach huts as “the end of an era” as beach huts have been enjoyed in this location for over 50 years. Although the owner has CCTV security cameras in place these have not been enough to deter the extreme vandalism that’s wrecked his beach huts. Police enquiries in the area are ongoing and many local residents are very sad that the valued huts are to finally be removed from this location.

In another shocking case almost 20 beach huts were vandalised in Aldwick, West Sussex. This prompted beach hut owners to join forces to demand a stronger police presence in the area. It was pointed out that many of the beach hut owners were elderly and vulnerable. They pay notably high rents for their beach huts, which often contain many valuable personal items, and rely on their beach huts for rest and relaxation during the warmer months.

Sadly, reports of beach hut vandalism like these are very common. Frustrated beach hut owners in Milford blame a disruptive group of youths for break-ins and damage caused to their beach huts at Hordle Cliff. It has been noted that attacks in the area tend to occur during school holidays and study leave periods, prompting people to ask schools to let them know about study leave and end of term dates so that security could be stepped-up.

Beach Hut Break-Ins Increasing

Police forces throughout the UK are highlighting apparent increases in beach hut break-ins and burglaries. Beach hut owners in Greatstone, Great Yarmouth, have been told by police to be on their guard after a number of beach hut padlocks were cut. The police detective inspector, leading the investigation, has reminded beach hut owners to review their security and take sensible precautions against burglaries. Their recommendations include these sensible tips:

  • Do not leave anything of value in your hut at any time.
  • Lock doors and windows with at least one good quality closed-shackle padlock.
  • Consider fitting a bar lock and/or a monitored alarm.
  • Security-mark property left in your hut and keep a photographic record of any items.
  • Do not leave flammable substances or matches in your hut.
  • Do not leave materials around the hut which could be used to commit crime, such as tools.
colourful beach huts
Colourful Beach Huts

The Need for Weatherproof Locks

If you have ever had a padlock so severely damaged by corrosion that you could no longer open it you will understand the importance of weatherproof locks. Many beach hut owners fail to recognise the impact of the wet and windy British weather and corrosive impact of perpetual salt water. They go to the trouble of locking up their beach huts for the winter but when they return in the following spring they find they can’t get their keys in the locks, due to a build up of rust.

The British seaside environment experiences the very worst impact of the weather. Rain not only falls, its also forcefully blown horizontally by powerful winds that drive penetrating moisture into every nook and cranny. And the moisture that beach huts need to contend with is not just rain from the sky. Salty seawater pummels seafront beach huts consistently for many weeks and months. The destructive impact of coastal winds that drive saltwater into all the locks, hinges, cracks and crevices around a beach hut can be disastrous.

Storm Pierrick, that hit the British Isles in April 2024, brought winds of 65mph (104km/h), torrential rain and was so severe that a number of beach huts were blown into the sea in Falmouth. The potentially destructive impact of British seaside weather on beach huts is very clear.

Weatherproof locks are essential for beach hut security. Genuinely weatherproof marine padlocks will not corrode, even when subjected to months of seawater saturation and remain secure, regardless of continuous saltwater immersion. If a beach hut’s doors and windows are shuttered and secured using high quality weatherproof padlocks, as recommended by the police, then there will be no problem unlocking the hut again when warmer weather returns.

double locked beach hut
Double Locked Beach Huts

 

Weatherproof Beach Hut Security

Weatherproof padlocks that can withstand repeated and ongoing immersion in corrosive salt water are clearly essential. But weatherproof beach hut security involves paying attention to a lot more than the padlocks used to secure the doors and window shutters.

Beach hut construction varies from robustly built block and concrete structures to more flimsy garden-shed style huts. They are all great in the warmer, drier summer months but there are often weatherproofing challenges that can have a detrimental impact on security if unattended.

Routine beach hut inspection and maintenance is essential. The coastal location of beach huts means they are often subjected to strong damaging winds that can tear off rooftops and, as noted, sometimes lift beach huts off the ground. Routine inspections should be carried out every season, checking to make certain the beach hut is securely anchored in place and roof coverings are undamaged and waterproof.

Beach huts are often protected with attractive paint finishes which are great for waterproofing. Its always worth touching up any damaged or worn paintwork and look out for signs of rot, damp or damage that need to be fixed.

Pay close attention to doors and windows. Make certain doors, windows and their frames haven’t swollen or warped out of shape and they all close securely. Windows might be protected with external, weatherproof shutters, securely locked with a weatherproof padlock. And pay special attention to all of the hinges, hasps and fastenings (screws and bolts) used around the beach hut. People sometimes overlook the need to use good quality weatherproof bolts and screws for their door and window hinges as well as weatherproof hasps and staples. As recommended by the police, door security bars add a valuable extra layer of robust security. 

When carrying out your routine beach hut inspection look out for vermin damage. Its always a good idea never to leave any foods or leftovers inside a beach hut as this is likely to attract the attention of unwanted visitors. And if your beach hut has a sink - put a plug in it.

Avoid fire risk by clearing away anything flammable from both inside and outside your beach hut. Seaside winds will often result in a build up of potentially flammable debris and driftwood around and under beach huts so always make sure this is cleared away. And if you have a gas supply, make certain this is turned off at the canister and taps on cookers and hobs are opened to empty pipelines of gas. Also, be sure never to leave any ignition sources, such as lighters and matches, inside the beach hut.

Avoid damp and mildew by removing fabric items from your hut and possibly using a desiccant dehumidifier. Check your beach hut ventilation to make certain airflow is clear but insects are kept outside.

Weatherproof Marine Padlocks

As noted, high quality weatherproof marine padlocks are essential for beach hut security. These locks, often encased in protective thermo-plastic coverings, have rust proof internal lock components and robust stainless steel, brass or sheathed steel shackles. Here are some of the best weatherproof marine padlocks from our store.

Squire SS50s Long Shackle Marine Padlock.

squire marine padlock
Squire Marine Padlock with Long Shackle

Squire ST50s Range of CEN3 Rated Stainless Steel Marine Padlocks

squire stainless steel marine padlocks
Squire ST50S Range - CEN3 Rated Stainless Steel Marine Padlocks

Federal FD860 60mm Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Waterproof Padlock

federal fd860 weatherproof padlock
Federal FD860 Stainless Steel Padlock

 50mm Atlantic Double Locking Marine Padlock

atlantic weatherproof padlockAtlantic Weatherproof and Rustproof Padlock

 

Police Launch Seaton Beach Hut Scheme

In an effort to crack down on seafront anti-social behaviour in Seaton, Devon, local police have teamed up with the town council to form Beach Hut Watch. Beach hut owners are invited to register and will be contacted promptly by the police to quickly assess any damage if incidents occur. This initiative aims to make beach-goers the “eyes and ears” of the community, to aid their campaign to crack down on anti social behaviour and beach hut damage in the area.

Similar schemes are being setup and trialled in other seaside areas throughout the UK. Local Neighbourhood Watch schemes are also highly active in vigilantly monitoring the security of valuable beach huts in their areas.

If you have any questions about beach hut security, or if you have any special requirements, remember 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 30th May 2024

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