11 May 12 simple and common sense tips for improving the security of your shed
Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are people looking for fast fixes of cash, which means they’re willing to steal things they can easily carry and resell.
We don’t have our heads in the sand. We know that includes things in your shed.
Most opportunistic thieves will look for the easiest target, possibly coupled with the an obvious ‘reward’. Think of a street full of parked cars. Many have alarms, but if there are any that don’t, they’re the more attractive targets. Then, if someone has left some valuables in their car, that becomes the number one target.
Don’t let your shed be an obvious easy target. Here are some hints:
Your first line of defence is locked side gates that stop people simply strolling through into the backyard for a sticky beak. Sure, anyone can climb a fence, but at least make things harder for a criminal, rather than inviting him in.
Check your doors
If your shed door doesn’t close tightly, do something about it. It’s an even bigger issue than being easy to force open, because it’s letting in unwanted creepy crawlies, possibly rodents, and even the bad weather.
Check your windows
Windows are great for letting in some natural light but can also offer great access if they’re too big, too low, or ill-fitting. If your shed has windows that a would-be thief might be able to break and climb through, consider reinforcing them with some wire mesh.
Cover your windows
If you have a few interesting things in your shed, leaving them clearly visible from outside might be enough to tempt a thief, so consider installing some curtains or privacy film to discourage and frustrate those prying eyes.
Use your lock
All Stilla sheds have secure locks, but no matter what sort you have, you need to use them. Get into the habit of locking your shed whenever you leave it for an extended period, even if you intend coming back. We all know there have been times we’ve had other things come up and next time we go to the shed it’s still unlocked.
Add an extra lock
If you have a lot of things of value in your shed, or if the house tends to be unoccupied for long periods, it’s worth considering another lock as an additional deterrent. The best type of lock for a shed door is a hasp and staple, but make sure you get one with bolts that go right through the wood and a properly-welded hinge pin to that it can’t just be knocked off with a hammer (here are some good details on what to look for in a hasp and staple lock).
Upgrade your padlock
If you’re using a padlock anywhere, we recommend getting one with a closed shackle that’s much harder to access with bolt cutters. If you’d rather not have another key to keep safe, you could opt for one with a combination or even one that operates using Bluetooth.
Secure your stuff
If a thief is determined enough (and has enough time) to break through your security and get into your shed, you can still protect your most valuable things with some second-line defence. Tools can be kept in a locked steel cabinet and larger items, such as bikes and lawn movers, can be chained to bolts in the floor.
Get motion-sensor lights
Thieves like to operate in the shadows and with no disruptions. Don’t set the table for them with an out-of-the-way shed that you’d never know they’re having their way with. Motion-sensor lights are enough to scare away many opportunistic amateur burglars, so why wouldn’t you install them all around?
Install an alarm
Thanks to wireless technology, it’s become a lot cheaper and easier to install alarm systems or add more sensor points to existing systems. With no wiring or cables, they’re also a lot harder to disconnect. If you happen to be upgrading the alarm system for the house, add the shed.
And two more things …
Check your insurance policy
Many people assume that their household insurance policy automatically covers their shed. It probably doesn’t, unless it’s specified, so make sure the shed is included. Then you know it’s even more important that you always lock it because, just like your house, your insurance company is going to look at a claim less favourably if the door was left unlocked.
Keep an inventory
It’s a good idea to keep a list of the main items in your shed, just as you would with items inside the house. Take photos and record serial numbers and other unique identifiers, too. Even better, mark all of your valuable things with an engraver or marking pen (as recommended in this article on the Australian Police website). That way, even if you’re unlucky enough to have things stolen, their resale value is reduced and you have a greater chance of recovery.
Stay safe, stay secure, and call Stilla for any advice.