Shed and Outbuilding Security


OuthouseSheds and outbuildings are frequently overlooked when it comes to security.
Unfortunately, this makes them particularly vulnerable to theft, especially during spring and early summer months when pickings are potentially rich for the criminal.

It is easy to underestimate the value of tools and equipment in the average shed - however effective security need not cost any more than a pair of decent paintbrushes and a little common sense. This is a small price to pay if you consider the value of the goods protected


Planning a new shed...

.....gives you the opportunity to think carefully about its position. Ideally it should be easy for you to get at and visible from the house, but not where the thief can work quietly. At the bottom of your garden and out of sight is often the worst place.
If you are having a shed built you can often specify where the door and windows are to be positioned. Never site a window where someone can look in over the fence from outside your property, from a footpath or other open area.


Don't advertise!

If someone can see through the window from outside your property, consider whitewashing the windows, and fitting battens across them at the same time. This will be just enough to put off the opportunist thief.

 


Lock and HaspDoor security

 Fit a good quality lock and hasp; these cannot be breached by boltcutters or a screwdriver. It has also been known for thieves to unscrew hinges in an attempt to gain access to an otherwise secure door. This can be prevented by securing any external fittings with security screws. These are as easy as a normal screw to fit, but the design of the head makes them almost impossible to undo.

 


Storage

Garden equipment should always be locked away and secured in a shed or outhouse. This will not only prevent their theft, but also stop garden tools and other items being used to break in.
 Large expensive items such as lawnmowers and bikes should be secured by a chain or similar which is anchored to a fixed point. Good DIY shops sell special posts designed for this very purpose.
 Property should also be overtly marked with your postcode and house number - identifiable goods are very unattractive to the thief. Furthermore this would make it easier for police to return your property if it was stolen and subsequently recovered. 


Shed alarmOther security

 Most shed thieves look around in the daytime to see what's about. That is why covering windows is important. However, they break into sheds overnight, usually in the quiet hours. This is why a shed alarm is particularly effective.
 A typical shed thief will want to work without being seen or heard. Should he managed to breach your door defences, the alarm will activate and blow his cover! There have been incidents in the Canterbury area where the alarm has sounded, with the thief beating a hasty (and empty handed) retreat. These alarms cost approximately £6, and are available from police stations in the area, the Crimebuster bus, or via the Neighbourhood Watch office on 01227 744746. They are easily fitted in about ten minutes.
 If your shed is close to the house, or you have a mains supply available you may also wish to consider security lighting.


Your garden perimeter

 Preventing an intruder from entering your garden from the outset will reduce your chances of falling victim even further.
 Gates should be locked and bolted to prevent easy access. Fences and walls should be maintained in good condition. If you are replacing fence panels etc, bear in mind that a 5 foot fence with one foot of trellis is more difficult to climb than a 6 foot fence. You may wish to adorn the foot of trellis with a decent prickly plant like pyracantha. Its red, orange and yellow berries belie the fact that this is organic barbed wire at its best!

Finally, bear in mind that most shed and outbuilding burglaries are committed by opportunists. Using all, or even some of the tips above will deter all but the most desperate of criminals.