How to improve the security of your shed

Sheds are not just places to pot your seedlings and sharpen your secateurs. Increasingly we use them to store expensive bits of outdoor kit like power tools; gardening gadgets; bikes and sports equipment.

This makes them a target for thieves.

Research by consumer organisation Which? shows that nearly a third of their readers keep more than £2,000 worth of equipment in their sheds . Set against that, shed and outbuilding security is not as good as it could be. A survey by the Crime Prevention Website found that nearly 40% of sheds were not well secured .

As we move into summer and the days get longer, sheds become an even bigger target. Break-ins to sheds hit a peak over the summer period, making it even more important to ensure that you improve security on this often-overlooked area of the garden, or outside space.

The most commonly-stolen items

The five items that were most regularly reported to the Metropolitan Police as having been stolen from sheds were:

  1. Bikes
  2. Mowers
  3. Sporting equipment
  4. Power tools
  5. Garden equipment

There are things you can do to make your shed a less attractive target, and minimise the loss if the worst should happen.

Top shed security tips

Make sure your hinges are really sturdy, and consider fitting a hasp and staple door fastening secured with a padlock.

Shed windows can be easily broken, so check yours and - if they seem a bit flimsy - try putting wire mesh (or a metal grill) over them for additional security. You could add some curtains too, and draw them before you lock up so no-one can see what's inside.

Fit a PIR (motion sensor) light that will shine on anyone approaching at night (not only a great security measure, but very useful for you too!).

Think about where you site your shed. It might look better tucked away behind a big bush or tree, but that gives great cover to thieves too.

Look at fitting a shed alarm. It doesn't have to be expensive - there are a number of battery-operated alarms that react to movement and emit a loud siren.

If you have very valuable power or garden tools that need to be kept in the shed, think about chaining them together and securing them with a padlock. If it's bolted down, it's harder to steal.

You can mark your things with your postcode and/or name using paint, or a marker pen. There is also the option of forensically marking your goods and registering them for free with Immobilise .

Finally - it sounds obvious! - but don't leave phones and other valuables in the shed. According to Which?, 342 laptops, 387 computers and 447 phones were stolen from sheds and outbuildings between 2012-14 in the London area alone.

If you have insurance, it's important to check whether it covers your shed or outbuildings. Our Pick & Protect Home Insurance does cover items in your shed, but it's important to check the specifics, whoever you're insured with.



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