People in the UK are spending more and more of their leisure time in the garden. This means there are often valuable items within the sheds for use of garden upkeep or garden enjoyment. Police in all areas have said there is an increase in garden thefts from sheds. The thieves are attracted to the possibility of gaining easy access to unsecured sheds and the valuable property within. This is the time of year there is a slight increase in sheds and garages being broken into. The incidents which have been reported include items taken ranging from tools, cycles, fishing tackle, and even rotavators. These are expensive items to replace and the impact upon insurance premiums can be quite significant. Police advise all homeowners to focus as much on securing their sheds and garages as they do on securing their homes. The following are tips on how to increase shed security.
First, consider storing valuable items like golf clubs and power tools in the home or in a secure garage instead of a shed. Beyond that there are ways to ensure that shed security can be enhanced. Begin by inspecting the shed itself to ensure the roof and the building is in good shape. Thieves will look for easy access into a shed, including a flimsy roof or wall panels that make it easy to get at the contents inside. The shed door should also be a consideration; it needs to be in good condition. Strengthening hinges and fitting padlocks will do no good if the door is rotten and can be kicked in. As for the hinges, clutch-head screws or coach screws should be utilised on the hasp and the latch. These types of screws are difficult to unscrew. Use two padlocks instead of just one, placing one about a third from the bottom of the door and the other about a third down from the top of the door. To make the shed door more secure, the padlocks should be closed-shackle, with very little of the metal hoop exposed. Thieves with bolt cutters will find it more difficult to cut through such a lock. If there is a window in the shed, it should be obscured in such a way that potential thieves cannot see the contents within. This can be done by placing bubble wrap over the window or by using an old net curtain or horticultural fleece. Also, consider fitting the window with laminated glass because it is more difficult to break. Fitting security mesh across the outside of the window is another great option to protect the window as well as deter thieves from an easy access point.
Securing the tools within the shed is just as important as securing the shed itself. If a thief manages to break into the shed, making it more difficult for them to carry off the contents is another deterrent. If there is not a way to store power tools such as lawnmowers and chainsaws anywhere other than in the shed, make the equipment more difficult to carry off. This can be accomplished by using a heavy-duty chain and padlock to link all of the items together. Weave the chain through the lawnmower, a heavy barbeque, and even a bundle of garden chairs to make it quite awkward for anyone to drag away. If the shed happens to have a concrete foundation anchor bolts can be installed in the concrete. A chain and padlock can be used to secure equipment to these anchor bolts, making it almost impossible to remove the items without special equipment.
Make the garden less attractive to scouting burglars by putting away anything of value - all tools, equipment, and bikes - when they are not being used. Furthermore, recognize that some garden tools can be used by burglars to actually break into the house; another reason to make sure they are all put up and secured in the shed. If a thief gains access to any of the valuable property in the garden or shed, a sometimes undervalued deterrent is identifying the property with the postcode and house number. Marking equipment and garden valuables with the postcode using a UV pen, paint, or by scratching the information onto the metal are all deterrents. Thieves may have difficulty trying to sell identified property, and the property may be more easily recovered and returned since it is identified. This is one way to feel more comfortable leaving certain garden furniture in the garden every night. It can be cumbersome and not so convenient to have to put up garden furniture every evening. Besides, there may not be space to store it. Be sure to check with the insurance policy to ensure it covers the items that are left out, just in case the deterrents do not work.
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Be sure to check out our blog post on shed security tips as well