Shed and Outbuilding burglary is a continuing to be a problem in the areas we cover on the whole, they tend to make easy targets and it needn’t cost the earth to make them more secure.
Below are ten simple tips to make your shed or outbuilding more secure. There are a couple of issues with sheds and outdoor buildings that many people may not realise; the total value of everything they contain is likely to be far higher than you might at first think and secondly, it is likely to contain many tools and implements that an opportunist burglar could use to enter your home.
1. Consider the approach to your shed or outbuilding, do you shut/lock access gates?
2. Preventing unwanted visitors entering your property is what you need to achieve, but nobody wants their home looking like a prison surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, and that is not necessary. Mother nature provides an environmentally friendly, attractive and particularly effective alternative – the prickly bush, these can be extremely effective when planted around perimeter areas. Don’t go for height particularly at the front as this could hide unwanted visitors on your property from sight. A high hedge can be great for an opportunist theft as they are confident of not being seen while they are up to no good.
3. There are many forms of driveway alert that sound in the house when someone enters your drive these start from as little as £30.
4. Consider motion sensitive outdoor lighting. During the hours of darkness lighting can not only be a comfort factor for the occupant, it is an excellent deterrent for would be opportunist burglars who clearly do not want to be seen. Be sure to fit them out of reach so they cannot be tampered with and if they are bright halogen lights, not pointing directly at neighbours houses so as to cause a nuisance.
5. Starting with the outside of each shed or building, ensure the walls are as secure as they can be, mend any holes that someone could crawl through or make bigger etc.
6. Install the best security locking devices possible, ensure that padlocks and fittings are sturdy and function properly, and if an outbuilding leads directly into your home make sure that the connecting door is especially secure. Replace and properly secure any cracked windows, and consider adding wire mesh or grilles.
7. Secure any particularly valuable items with padlocks and chains to ground or wall anchors. If you use high quality security it would necessitate a thief having to use a noisy angle grinder rather than relatively silent bolt croppers.
8. Consider locking other smaller valuable tools items such as chainsaws etc to the same ground or wall anchors at least locking lots of items together to make them very difficult to move.
9. Consider CCTV or if that is beyond your budget, you could consider a high quality dummy CCTV camera.
10. Consider an alarm, these can range from a simple shed alarm which sell for less than £10 through to a properly installed alarm system either as part of or separate to the house alarm.
Just in case the worst does happen despite your best efforts, check that you have sufficient insurance cover for your sheds and outbuildings and that tools and equipment of significant value is covered. Ensure you comply with your insurers minimum requirements, such as locking ATVs to ground anchors as otherwise your insurance may not pay out. Make a note of the serial numbers of valuable tools and equipment, Mark them in some way either with a property marketing solution or by putting your postcode in a way that cannot be easily removed. Always consider asking the advice of your local reputable locksmith who should be able to assist with general security advice as well as product specific advice and will offer an installation service should you require it.