A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
Many people store valuables in their sheds and then proceed to keep the sheds unsecured. Sheds are a fantastic place for home burglars to find bikes, expensive equipment, and tools they can use to break into the main house. And yet they’re often built with flimsy locks and breakable roofs and walls.
You don’t need to leave your shed like it is now. There are ways to upgrade your shed security and keep your things safe. That way, even if a burglar gets into your yard, they’ll have a hard time getting valuables out of your shed.
Here’s how to successfully reinforce your shed security:
Securing a shed from theft ties into general yard security. It’s many of the same principles – get security cameras and motion lights, and don’t leave hiding places for thieves.
If you want solid door security, your shed door should have a lock that’s hard to break or pick and similarly reinforced hinges. You might want a shed security bar as well.
Get solid, hard-to-break locks for your shed with shatterproof windows (or no windows). Anchor the shed to the ground and make sure no one can unscrew the hinges.
A solid shed security system includes cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. These devices shouldn’t be easy to disable, either.
There are a few things to keep in mind when installing a shed. Before spending any money on the one you think is right for you, consider these shed security elements.
First, get a shed that’s easily maintained. It’s easy to break into a shed with blatant damage, after all. Go for a metal shed if you can – they’re far more durable than wood or plastic sheds. But if you can’t get a metal one, wood is still decent. Try to stay away from plastic.
If your shed gets damaged, use braces for sagging doors and patch any holes.
Some sheds have parts that burglars can move. Some roofs are easily liftable. Other times, you can remove A/C units from the outside. Stay away from these types of sheds.
Get the shed installed in an area not visible from the street. If a burglar sees you have a well-guarded shed, they may want to take from it. To avoid this type of criminal temptation, you might be interested in a full-privacy garden gate.
The shed does not need to be visible from the street or outside the property, but make sure the shed is visible from your house. Don’t put one near large plants that a burglar could hide in.
Pay attention to your lock hasp (the part that the lock secures to). Your shed isn’t very protected if a burglar only needs a screwdriver to pry off the hasp. Use carriage bolts that are much harder to remove. The screws for the hasp should likewise be at least 1 to 1 ½ inches.
A thief can cut lock parts with bolt cutters. Ensure your high-quality padlock has a shrouded shackle, and check that its hasps are hardened steel, meaning the metal is much more difficult to cut. Also, get metal bolted to the back of the door so no one can cut through the lock.
Sheds don’t need windows, so opt for one without them if possible. But if your shed already has windows, don’t worry – you can still have solid shed security.
Cover your windows so no one gets tempted to steal what they can see. You can use frosted glass, privacy films (tint), or even just curtains. Physical security is often about obscuring and hiding your valuables – if there’s no motivation to steal, people aren’t going to do it.
Next, you need to make your windows hard to break. Privacy films help reinforce windows a bit, but your best bet is to get shatterproof styrene glazing. Window guards and window bars also make your windows harder to break.
Hinges are easy to remove, making them prime targets for thieves. You need them secured just like you need your locks secured.
Hinges shouldn’t be easy to unscrew, and pins should be protected. Security screws and security pins help with this. These are sturdy and hard to remove, making a burglar’s job trickier.
Your hinges should also use low-gauge steel. This means the metal is durable and a lot harder to cut through (the lower the number, the thicker the steel). Your hinges should have a thickness of at least 0.150 inches.
You might want to invest in “invisible” hinges. These are much trickier for thieves to find and disable, making them great for shed security.
You can use many security technologies to upgrade your shed’s security.
Cameras can monitor the activity in your shed, even at night. Even better, the sight of cameras often deters burglars. This means you don’t necessarily need a real camera – dummy cameras perform the same level of deterrence.
Alarms can also help deter burglars. Many burglars run as soon as they hear an alarm, whether or not it actually alerts anyone. And you can get one that automatically sends alerts to your phone or even straight to the police whenever it senses motion.
And motion sensors aren’t just good for alarms. A motion-detecting light is also very useful in theft prevention. With one of these, as soon as someone enters your yard, they’ll have a spotlight on them.
Many sensors can tell you when things are opened or broken. Door and window sensors can alert you or set off an alarm when a window or door opens, and glass break sensors do similar work when a window breaks. Likewise, vibration sensors detect any movement of whatever they’re attached to.
Your security devices can either be wired into your main electrical system or wireless. Wireless technology needs regular battery changes, but if the main power is cut, wireless devices will still operate while wired devices will not. Of course, you need a strong Wi-Fi signal in your shed to have wireless devices work at all.
Opt for waterproof technology. You don’t want everything failing as soon as it rains or building up rust over time. Fortunately, most shed-related devices are designed for the outdoors.
You may already have your shed anchored to the ground, as it’s the law in some places, but if you don’t, you should get some good shed anchors.
Usually, you can anchor your shed to a concrete base. Anchoring makes it very hard to lift and is vital to shed security. Installing concrete bollards can also work.
Don’t forget to reinforce your shed’s roof with brackets. You don’t want a thief lifting the top off, either.
Anchor things inside the shed to the shed itself to make them harder to steal. Things like security anchors for sheds and shed shackles can attach valuables to the wall. Solid bike locks can do similar work. Try to lock valuables together to make them harder to grab.
There are a few more considerations to make that may help with your shed security.
Remember that yard security is shed security, so have solid fencing and a reinforced perimeter around your house.
Keep a solid inventory of everything in your shed. That way, if anything gets stolen, it’s more likely to be found again. Write down any serial numbers and put identifiable marks on everything.
Don’t “advertise” the things you have. Don’t leave bikes or expensive equipment in easily-visible areas, and be careful posting on social media, as thieves check there too.
Similarly, keep all equipment locked up at all times. Burglars can use it to break into your house.
Reinforce the frame of your shed so a thief can’t puncture it easily. You can use metal struts, builder bands, or even chicken wire.
Consider getting a dog. Dogs can be fantastic theft deterrents, although, of course, they’re a big responsibility.
Think about your landscaping – prickly plants are impossible to hide behind, and gravel pathways are hard to sneak around over.
Use locking drawers inside the shed itself. Drawers create yet another obstacle for thieves to get through.
Finally, make sure you have good shed insurance. Many people don’t, meaning things are harder than they need to be after a break-in.
Your shed doesn’t have to be the least secure part of your house. With just a few touches, you can upgrade your shed security and prevent burglars from accessing the valuables you store in there.
Don’t write off shed security as unimportant. Pay attention to all of the entry points in your home and have the proper security measures put in place. After all, if a burglar has access to your shears, ladders, and other gardening equipment, who knows what they can do with it?