Shed security

05 July 2024

The contents of your sheds and other outbuildings might add up to more than you think. Make sure you keep them secure this summer.

When you add up the cost of lawnmowers, garden furniture, bicycles and tools, you may be surprised at their combined value. 
 
The light construction and location aspects of these types of buildings make them vulnerable to attack from thieves and break-ins can cause massive inconvenience. 
 
Taking a few simple actions can significantly reduce the risk of your outbuildings being targeted.

Shed security tips

  • Avoid storing high-value items like golf clubs, ride-on mowers or power tools in sheds. They may be safer stored in your home or a secure garage. 
  • Always lock your shed or garage when not in use. You will be surprised about the number of people who do not do this. Some insurers will insist these buildings are locked when not in use. 
  • Secure outbuilding doors by fitting a strong closed shackle padlock and staple. Anything less than 10mm boron steel will be vulnerable to bolt cutters unless additional shielding is used to protect the padlock. Remote locations and higher-value equipment may benefit from a CEN Grade 4 or 5 quality padlock. The main objective is to prevent a jemmy, pry bar or the jaws of a bolt cutter from gaining any purchase. A metal shield fitted over the padlock can significantly improve performance.  
  • Secure shed door hinges with coach bolts or non-returnable screws. Hinge bolts or hinge plates can help prevent the complete removal of doors in more violent attacks. 
  • Consider installing your shed with a shed bar.
  • Windows are often the first point of entry, so ensure these are adequately secured. Replace any rotten timber or windows. Consider fitting metal grilles or wire mesh to the inside if the windows are non-opening, otherwise, use window locks. Curtains or netting can help to prevent people from seeing inside. 
  • Fit a good quality battery alarm to your outbuilding. If you have an intruder alarm protecting your house consider extending it to the outbuilding.  
  • To protect up and garage doors, secure using padlocks through inside runners or fitting padlocks with a hasp and staple on either side of the door. 
  • Chain items such as bicycles, ladders and lawnmowers to a strong anchor point or each other, using a set of Keyed Alike padlocks. Padlocks for this purpose should have short hasps, sufficient to pass through the chain but not so long as to be vulnerable to bolt cutters. A chain of 10mm hardened steel will make it difficult for thieves.
  • Property mark items such as lawnmowers and tools. Items can be post-coded by etching, staining, painting or stencilling.
  • Talk with local police to create or participate in a neighbourhood watch scheme or equivalent if you are not already doing so.  
  • If possible install lightning with PIR sensors that activate in darkness when people are in the vicinity of the shed.
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