According to national statistics, one in four garage owners in the UK have been burgled, closely followed by 26% of shed owners. In addition, there were over 192,060 home burglaries in 2021/22 in England and Wales, meaning a shocking average of 526 per day – or one every 164 seconds! Although this figure incorporates houses as well as sheds and garages, it’s still a pretty shocking figure, and as the cost of living continues to rise, we can expect to see these figures rise as many will turn to crime to help make ends meet.
More surprising is the fact that many Brits make absolutely no effort to secure their garden sheds or garages from theft. Following the Christmas period when there are brand-new bikes and scooters stored in garden sheds as well as tools, garden equipment and fancy barbecues, it’s foolish to imagine that there won’t be a spate of burglaries targeting sheds and garages which are easy pickings for a thief.
Shed security is growing in importance, and your shed is only going to be as strong as it’s weakest link. If your hinges are rusted or your shed’s infrastructure is starting to decay, it may only take a few minutes with a screwdriver, wrench and hammer for a burglar to prise their way into your stored gear. If a thief has the right tools and opportunity, then they’re going to get through anything – as unfortunately, no shed can be made completely impregnable. However, there are some steps you can take to make it look as if the job will take so long, and need so many tools, that they decide not to bother!
Five ways to keep your shed secure
Here are some top tips for making your shed as unappealing as possible to a potential thief, and present as difficult a job as you can to put them off. The best security is lots of it, so layer it up to make your shed as unappealing as possible, and a metal shed is also more secure than a wooden one.
1. Position and visibility
If you can, position your shed out of sight from the front of your house, although still visible from your windows at the back. Keep the perimeters maintained – high, strong fences and tall hedges, especially ones with prickly plants, are off putting, and can prevent a thief being able to see your shed at all – although make sure your hedges aren’t foliage that a thief could hide behind.
Don’t advertise your bike online. Many thieves will steal to order, so if you post photos of your bike on social media that are traceable back to your property, they know what you’ve got. Also, keep the windows of your shed, if you need them at all, covered and difficult to see through, either with privacy film, spray paint or by using curtains or blinds so that thieves can’t view what’s inside.
2. Security lights, cameras and alarms
Install motion sensor lights and cameras on or near your shed. You can attach them to your house if you need an electrical power source, but have them light up and film the shed clearly. This will scare off many pesky thieves, but will also record valuable footage for the police if they actually manage to break in. A relatively inexpensive motion camera can send an alarm and footage to your mobile phone – alerting you to the attempted break in.
Similar to the security light or camera, a shed alarm will detect movement and make a massive racket if a thief tries to enter, which is enough to deter almost all thieves, as they always want to be in and out without being seen or making a noise. Many thieves will spot the alarm and just walk away, as the risk of being caught when it starts shrieking is too great.
3. Secure the infrastructure
The infrastructure of the shed will depend on the quality of the production, and is usually relative to how much you paid for it, but all sheds can be made more secure by improving on the supplied fixings for the roof, door and windows. Shed roofs are surprisingly easy to lever off unless they are well-secured with sturdy screws or round-head coach bolts that make this a non-option. In the same way, the regular screws and hinges that are usually supplied as standard for the windows and doors are not a difficult barrier for the determined thief. They need reinforcing with screws and coach bolts to make the task super unappealing. Ideally install a fully framed door that can take a sturdier, Yale-type lock, and attach a metal plate to the door behind it to make it impossible to cut the lock out.
4. Secure your contents
Make sure that you lock up all your larger and more expensive items, such as lawnmowers and bikes. You can mark them with chemical tags and display a sticker on the outside to warn thieves that the items are tagged and trackable. Bikes can also be fitted with GPS devices that allow them to be traced by your phone app. Our friends at Datatool provide market-leading trackers and marking kits. However, the best deterrent is to physically secure them making them immovable. Ground anchors are a fabulous way to secure your bike, and Image4security has the toughest on the market. Our Apex Pro has been tested and proven to withstand every tool a thief could use, including a twenty-five-minute grinder attack. Layering security is the best form of defence for your shed, so coupling a strong ground anchor with a sturdy security chain, or even an alarmed one, will add that extra defence. Our advice is to us a chain 14mm or thicker, this is because they are impossible to be cut through with manual bolt croppers.
5. Secure the door
The lock supplied with your shed is likely to be easy to bypass, so replace it with a heavy duty hasp and staple which can be fixed with coach bolts, and pair it with a strong or even alarmed padlock. A shackle lock is much harder to get bolt cutters to, and if it’s also alarmed, it will emit an ear-piercing, attention-seeking noise. Image4security is pleased to have developed the unique Guardsman range, which is the ultimate barrier for defending your shed door. The long, robust arm extends and retracts across the shed opening and sits at a height that is impossible to fit a bike, or motorbike, under – or lift over! We’re so confident in our Guardsman to defend your shed or garage that they are also insurance approved – with the possibility of reduced premiums if you install one.
Whilst no shed is 100% unassailable, we believe that the best security is lots of it. By using several of these layers of defence on your shed’s security, you will give yourself a fighting chance of not becoming one of those burglary statistics in 2023.
Why not get in touch today to chat about how installing some of Image4security’s best security measures can help to turn your shed into as strong a defence as possible today?