Sheds are favourite target for burglars, because they tend to be relatively easy to break into without too much noise and effort. Despite their vulnerability, many of us keep all manner of expensive goods in our sheds, for example bikes, power tools, and camping equipment.
As a rule, anything of value should be stored overnight inside your house to make it harder for thieves to get to. However, if you have no choice but to keep goods in your shed, this article offers advice on how to make them as secure as possible.
There are several different types of sheds, from sturdy brick or breeze block ones to simple flat-pack wooden ones. The latter type is easily the most common, so it will be the focus of this article.
Obviously the level of security you need depends heavily on the area you live in; if you live in a safe area with low crime you might only need a regular shed and cheap padlock, but if you live in a big city with higher crime levels you are going to need to go to much greater lengths to deter intruders.
Realistically, you are never going to make a wooden shed completely burglar-proof, no matter what you do. In some cases, thieves are willing to lever off the roof or entire side panel of a shed to get at the goods inside. Therefore, your main objective should be to make it as difficult a target as possible, in order to hopefully persuade any potential intruders to look for easier targets elsewhere.
When deciding where to place your shed, try to find a spot that difficult to reach, but exposed enough that burglars cannot work away without being seen. So ideally it will not be shaded or concealed by bushes or trees, but will not be so visible that it makes a tempting target to a passing opportunistic criminal.
If the shed is only used for storage, and you don’t need to use it as a workshop, it makes sense to get one without any windows. In the eyes of a burglar, a window is a potential weak spot that may make their job of getting inside a lot easier, and it also enables them to look inside to see if there is anything valuable in the shed.
Locks are perhaps the biggest defence you have against burglars. However, there is always a trade-off to be made here because the better the locks you put on your shed, the more you are communicating to burglars that you may have something valuable to protect inside. Generally it is better to have one high quality padlock that several cheap and easily bypassed ones.
The hinges of a shed door are a common weak point. Often, if you have hinges attached to a thin wooden door with short screws, a burglar can simply shoulder barge or kick the door with heavy force to rip the hinges off. And if they wanted to take a quieter approach, it will be little trouble for them to simply unscrew each screw and then take the door off.
A little superglue applied around the screws should help to make them significantly harder to unscrew, or you could purchase some one way security screws, which are made to be impossible to remove from the outside.
Ultimately, if a burglar is genuinely determined, they are always going to find a way to break into your shed. If you are serious about protecting valuables inside, then your last line of defence should be an alarm with a movement sensor, so even if they get inside they will not be able to take your belongings and slip away unnoticed.