Outside of insurance policy and dog ownership, it is not rare for garden shed owners to give little more than cursory attention to security procedures for their outbuildings. This lack of precaution is putting their gardening equipment at great risk of theft. This is particularly alarming as statistics show that garden thefts shoot up 25 per cent as British Summer Time begins. However, there are a number of different ways to prevent any breaking and entry in to your shed. These could be through various alarms, locks and deterrents.
The most popular choice, of course, is the simple “shed bar”; a long metal staff secured across the shed’s door with a padlock. This protects both the hinge and the lock side of the shed door. It is a relatively low cost option and also a highly visible one; it is possible the shed bar will discourage potential thieves from even attempting a break in. A similarly simple option could be to use a ground anchor bolt, concreted into the shed floor, used to secure garden equipment inside the shed. This minimises the potential for a criminal to escape with any valuables.
Also, whereas many shed owners make certain that the doors are secured, it is often the case that the shed’s windows are left exposed. A cheap way of combating this is to attach chicken wire to both the inside and outside of the windows with galvanised staples.
More hi-tech options are available for those with a bit more capital to spare. These include wireless sensor alarms which can be battery operated and are therefore ideal for those places where no mains power exists. Although shed alarms are certainly more expensive than Yale padlocks they are also more likely to be safer; the short term increase in security expenditure may save you money in the long run from having to replace expensive equipment stolen from your shed.
The two main types of alarm are ones which emit a loud sound and those which shine bright lights when activated. Both types of alarm generally use infrared systems which create barriers. Once these infrared barriers are crossed, the alarm activates. This means it is possible to scare off an intruder some yards before even reaching the shed and prevent a break in before it occurs. Failing this the alarm will draw attention to the area and improve the chances of having witnesses at the scene of the crime.
Further options include CCTV. This could be either in the form of a fake camera, to act as a deterrent, or a real CCTV system which could result in identifying the thieves. Trigger mats could also be used and are similar to sensor alarms but work in more specific areas. They can be placed at points of entry to the shed, such as the doors, roof or windows, and activate upon the point of touch.
Kieron Casey is a BA (Hons) Journalism graduate writing on behalf of Tiger Sheds. He is a green minded vegetarian who blogs on a number of issues including gardening, garden buildings and gardening equipment.