It seems, these days, no home is complete without a shed. As an essential storage solution for homeowners, a shed can be used for tidying away everything from bikes to lawnmowers, and from gardening equipment to children’s outdoor toys.
They can be used to house other household items of value, and can even be used as an extension of your home – as a guest house for friends and family who visit, or yourself as a self-contained outdoor space to escape to and unwind.
However, it’s important to note that due to its outdoor location, sheds can easily be targets for thieves and intruders, particularly if they are easily visible from the street.
As most homeowners tend to put more importance on securing their residential home, garden sheds often get forgotten, and therefore they face a greater chance of theft.
Just like your home, it is important to ensure your garden shed is secured properly from the outside-in, to deter thieves and keep your personal goods yours.
13 Shed Security Measures
There is no single thing you can do that will ensure your shed is safe from burglars, it’s more of a case of doing numerous things to ensure that the chance of a burglar being able to get into your shed is minimized.
Here are our top tips to keep your shed security tight.
Probably the single most effective security measure you can add to your shed is an alarm system.
These are not only great at detecting intruders, but also great at deterring them from targeting your shed in the first place.
Otherwise known as an intrusion detection system, these are electronic devices that monitor the shed via sensors such as movement sensors (PIR’s) and window and door contact sensors.
Alarm systems can be quite complex in their operation, but the basics are this:
They consist of an alarm panel, which has various sensors wired to it. When the panel detects an intruder via the sensors – it will set off an extremely loud siren internally and externally as well as a flashing strobe light.
This is unless of course the code to disarm the alarm system has been entered.
Movement sensors (PIR)
These can be hard-wired or wireless. They look for movement in the shed and send an alarm signal to the alarm panel if movement is detected.
They are also known as PIR’s or passive infrared sensors.
Door and Window Contact Sensors
These are sensors that are mounted on the door or window and the frame. They detect if the door or window is opened.
Another great deterrent is security cameras. And of course, they have the added benefit of being able to possible identify any burglars that still decide to target your garden shed.
Gone are the days of needing to run a cable from the camera back to the recording device (although you can if you don’t want to rely on batteries and wireless signals), there are many modern systems that are completely wireless and can last up to 1 year without needing a charge.
Simply mount the cameras in a location where they are both visible and target where the intruders are likely to approach the shed from as well as any door or windows.
A cheaper alternative is to opt for fake security cameras. While these won’t be able to identify any criminals, they will act as an effective deterrent as a good fake camera is extremely hard to pick from a real one.
If you speak to any locksmith, they will tell you the importance of choosing quality locks to protect your property.
Cheap locks of any type are usually easy to pick, cut through or simply break.
So choosing high-quality, heavy-duty security locks that are designed for the purpose you are using them for will go a long way to keeping any unwanted people out of your shed.
Just like locks, hinges can be a weak point to your shed door.
Cheap hinges have pins that will fall out, and will not survive a serious kick in attempt.
Grab some high-quality hinges with anti-tamper pins and screws.
Reinforce/Upgrade The Door
Make sure that the door to your shed is in good condition. If it is a timber door, then make sure it isn’t rotten and ready to break at the slightest kick.
You might want to consider replacing the door with a steel or solid wood door.
You also might want to reinforce your door with metal bars, plates, or strips.
It is worth remembering that no matter how strong your door is if you have poor quality locks or hinges then it is going to be easy to break into.
Window Security Bars
If you think about it, glass isn’t going to keep any determined intruder out of your shed.
It is just too easy to break the glass and gain entry through a window. It can even be done quietly if the person breaking in is experienced.
A sure way to stop windows from becoming unwanted entry points to your shed is to install window security bars.
These are metal bars that are designed to stop intruders, but still, let in air and light when it is wanted.
While we are on the topic of windows, another precaution you can take is to add frosting to your glass windows.
Frosting can be easily added with a stick on film – there is no need to replace the glass.
This removes the ability for people to be able to scope out what is in the shed and deciding if they want to steal it.
This may be enough to deter a would-be-thief as they won’t want to risk getting caught if there they can’t be sure there is something worth stealing!
Many sheds sit in dark corners of the yard and are easy to sneak up to without the possibility of being spotted from the house.
One sure way to change this is to install motion sensor lights that switch on whenever movement is sensed in the area.
Sensor lights are a huge deterrent to thieves and once a sensor light comes on, most will want to get away as quickly as they can before they are spotted from the home.
Fix The Shed To The Foundation
Some of the most common types of sheds are simple metal storage sheds that are put up by the homeowner.
You might be surprised to find that many shed DIYers neglect to properly secure their shed to the ground/foundation.
Not only does this make it super easy for burglars to break into the shed by levering (or simply lifting) up a wall – but it is also a huge safety concern when it comes to strong winds.
Take the time to read the manual for your shed and find out how it should be correctly secured to the foundation.
Avoid Plastic (polycarbonate) Roofing
It may be tempting to replace part of the metal roofing of your shed with a semi-transparent piece of roofing designed to allow light to enter naturally.
While natural light is great, these plastic roof pieces are notoriously easy to break into – especially if not installed correctly.
If you really want to have natural light from the roof, then look into skylights designed for your shed type. Speak to someone at your local hardware store if you are unsure what suits your requirements.
Use Floor Anchors
Larger valuable items in your shed such as lawnmowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, trailers, and vehicles can be double secured by installing floor anchors and chaining them down then securing them with a good quality lock.
Floor anchors work well on both timber and concrete floors, and they make it just that little bit harder for someone to steal.
Engrave Your Items
Another good deterrent to burglars is to engrave your valuable items with your details.
Doing so ensures that your valuables are hard to sell (if not downright impossible) and this lowers the value of your property to any burglar significantly.
You will need an engraver, Dremel, or similar and you will want to engrave your driver’s license number so that it is easy to spot.
You should NOT use your social security number.
Protect Your Investments With Insurance
Our final suggestion is that if you store a lot of valuable items in your shed – look into an insurance policy that covers everything.
That way, if the worse does happen and you are cleaned out but some despicable thief then at least you are covered by your insurance policy.
Make sure you talk to your insurance agent and find out the policy that is best for you – and be sure to find out exactly what the policy will and won’t cover.
More than one person has been caught out by having the wrong policy in the past!
The Final Word on Shed Security
The one thing to remember when it comes to shed security is that thieves like their targets to be quick and easy.
The harder you can make it for a burglar to get in, get your stuff, and get out undetected – the less likely they are to target your property.