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Why You Need to Secure Your Sheds and Garages

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UK burglary statistics from 2020 show that when a burglar enters a victim’s home they typically cause around £1413 worth of damage and steal around £2856 worth of valuables. In 44% of home burglaries the amount taken exceeds £1000 in value and notably, when entry is gained to a non-connected building (e.g. shed, garage or garden storage), at least £1000 worth of items are stolen. Not surprisingly, most burglary victims (around 84%) experience emotional distress.

What is surprising is that although many home owners pay attention to their house security they fail to pay adequate attention to the security of their garden sheds, garages and outbuildings. If you have a shed or garage where you store tools, garden equipment, bikes, barbecues and camping gear it’s a good idea to take an inventory of what’s in there and consider what it would cost to replace these valuable items. Many people are surprised to learn how much value they have stored in their outbuildings.

This is why it’s essential to pay special attention to the security of your sheds, garages and storage containers. Structures which aren’t attached to your main property are often seen as easy targets by opportunist burglars who know that breaking into these outbuildings is less likely to be immediately detected. And often, burglars will use the tools and equipment they have found in your garage or shed, such as ladders, to gain access to your house.

Insurers calculate the average contents value at £1200, but although many sheds are full of old plant pots, others will contain much more valuable contents and you’ll almost certainly be surprised when you add up the value of what you are storing.

Think Like a Burglar

When considering any aspect of home security its beneficial to get into the mindset of a thief. Ask yourself some questions about your valuables, your property and your existing security precautions.

For example, if you and your family ride bicycles where and how are they stored? Organised bike thieves are known to track cyclists to their homes to find out where and how they store their valuable bikes. If a burglary gang knows that a number of valuable bikes, which can be quickly resold, are stored in an insecure garden shed this immediately makes the shed a valuable target.

What can potential burglars see from outside your property? Are there windows into your garage or shed that reveal the tempting valuables stored inside? Do you use a ride-on lawn-mower or other expensive power tools that can be seen by those who would like to steal them?

Paying attention to your shed and garage security will help prevent you from becoming a crime victim, losing valuable possessions and experiencing the anxiety and stress suffered by those who are targeted by criminals. Lets have a look at some security ideas and recommendations that will help you.

Outbuilding Location and Approach

If your shed or garage is concealed and can’t be easily seen from the road or your house then thieves will be more confident about taking time breaking into it. Try to locate your shed or outbuilding where it can be clearly seen and make certain it’s not concealed by cutting back trees, bushes and other vegetation.

Gravel driveways and pathways act as a burglar deterrent due to the noise they make when walked on. Most burglaries are carried out at night time, so the sound made when someone walks on a noisy gravel path or drive can provide a valuable alert.

Movement triggered security lights which illuminate areas of vulnerability are highly effective in deterring opportunistic thieves. Also, security camera systems, which have become increasingly affordable and simple to install, are highly effective. Simple camera systems which hook up to your home wifi can be configured to provide alerts when triggered by movement. Warning signs telling people that your property is monitored by security cameras also act as a very powerful deterrent.

Movement triggered alarms are another valuable yet highly affordable security precaution. These devices are incredibly easy to setup and use. Simply locate the motion detecting alarm in the area you want to monitor and anything moving within a 6 metre (20 feet) radius will trigger the powerful 130dB siren.

Garage and Shed Buildings

The robustness of your garage, shed or storage container is vitally important for security. While many garages tend to be built from concrete blocks, often with concrete floors, most garden sheds are relatively flimsy making them relatively easy targets for experienced shed thieves.

Shed and Garage Doors

It’s important to ensure that all of the primary points of entry into your outbuildings are as secure as possible. Burglars will always target your shed doors and garage doors so it’s important to ensure the highest level of protection.

Always use a high quality, strong, secure lock on your doors. Depending on the type of door, this could be an integral mortise lock, or a high quality Padlock and Hasp set or Door Security Bar. And always remember to keep it locked when you’re not using the building.

When seeking the best security products to beef up your shed and garage security it’s important to select the highest quality products available. For example, a high security padlock and hasp set that has achieved ‘Sold Secure Bronze’ certification means it has been verified as capable of withstanding a variety of attacks commonly employed by burglars and will therefore significantly improve the security of your shed or outbuilding.

As noted, most garden sheds are relatively flimsy structures. It’s therefore important to keep this in mind when devising an effective shed security strategy. A highly effective shed door security solution is to install a shed bar that fits right across your shed door or doors. 

long shed bar protecting door
Effective Shed Door Security

It’s important to bolster the existing shed structure to provide a robust fixing for the shed bar and to use through-bolts, rather than screws, to attach the bar to the shed. But once installed a shed bar presents a formidable barrier that can’t be easily overcome and will deter all but the most determined thieves. It should be clear that the shed bar is only effective for outward opening doors, which most sheds use.

Most sheds are supplied with relatively low quality, domestic hasps and padbars. Replacing these with high security components is essential if you are serious about keeping intruders out of your shed. A variety of high quality hasps and padbars are available, some with exceptionally high security ratings. As for shed door bars it’s important to be aware that shed doors and door frames are not always very robust and it’s therefore important to reinforce these structures and always use through-bolts rather than screws.

Shed door hinge security is another important area that generally needs improvement. It’s beneficial to replace low quality shed door hinges with high quality hinges manufactured from the best quality steel with concealed hinge pins. And make certain to attach shed door hinges using through-bolts rather than screws and always bolster the strength of the shed structure where the hinges are affixed. If screws are the only option then be sure to use security screws which can’t be readily removed.

For garage doors there are a number of highly effective security enhancements, depending on the type of garage door. For up-and-over garage doors the Garage Door Defender is widely respected and highly effective.

garage door defender
Garage Door Defender

This outstanding security device is simple to install and very easy to use. When locked in place it simply prevents the garage door from being swung outward to open it. And the ground fixings extend to the inside of the garage which means they can’t be tampered with. The Garage Door Defender has achieved ‘Sold Secure Bronze’ certification so you can be confident of its security capability.

Another highly effective and widely used garage door security device for up and over doors is the Squire GA5 Garage Door Defender. This garage door security device is simple to install, highly effective and easy to use every day. It has achieved ‘Sold Secure Bronze’ certification so you can be confident it will keep burglars out of your garage.

If you have a roller shutter style garage door then you need the Roller Shutter Door lock which has achieved the impressive ‘Sold Secure Silver’ certification. This is another easily installed, highly effective physical security precaution that will prevent burglars from easily opening your roller shutter garage doors.

roller shutter door security
Roller Garage Door Security

Window Security

It’s vitally important not to overlook the windows you have in your sheds and garages. They can provide thieves with a view of the valuables stored inside and are often used as alternative points of entry when doors are secured.

Reflective window film can prevent people from seeing into your buildings while allowing light in and helping to keep the internal temperature down. Alternatively, simple curtains or blinds are highly effective in obscuring internal visibility.

Window security bars are another valuable window security option that present a robust obstacle and visible deterrent which will prevent most burglars from gaining entry.

Roof Security

Burglars can sometimes gain entry into an outbuilding via the roof or they may use the roof of a non-connected building to gain access to an upper storey house window. It therefore makes sense to deter and prevent intruders from climbing on your outbuilding rooftops. Anti-climb paint and other anti-climb precautions such as plastic anti climb spikes and our own Roller Barrier system are all very effective, widely used and respected anti-climb measures.

Internal Shed and Garage Security

When reviewing your shed and garage security its important not to overlook what steps you take internally to keep valuable items safe and secure. Bicycles, for example, stored in your shed should ideally be locked to an immovable anchor point. A burglar who has managed to overcome your security and gained access to your shed would be stymied if they find the bicycles and other valuable items securely attached to a robust, immovable anchor using high security padlocks and chains.

As noted, most garden sheds are relatively simple structures which don’t offer robust anchor points. But the Shed Shackle is a widely used and easily installed security enhancement that significantly boosts internal shed security. Affixed to the most robust parts of a shed, thieves are effectively prevented from stealing items which are locked to the ‘Sold Secure Silver’ certified Shed Shackle.

shed shackle anchor point
Shed Shackle Robust Anchor Point

Various designs of both ground and wall anchors are available for garage and shed use. It’s important to accompany these with the highest quality padlocks and security chains and always ensure valuable items such as motorbikes, scooters, power tools and ride-on mowers are securely attached to these anchor points when stored inside.

Label Your Valuables

Visibly marking all removable items such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and garden furniture with your postcode and house number is highly recommended. Alternatively use an ultra violet marker or property marking system such as the Datatag Home Security Marking Kit. Visible labelling which can’t be removed acts as a further theft deterrent and can help in identifying ownership if items are stolen.

If you have any questions regarding shed, garage and outbuilding security 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 3rd June 2021

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