How To Protect Your Shed From Burglary
Sheds are a popular target for burglary; they’re unlikely to be fitted with anything other than the most basic of locks - if that - and they generally have something electronic or valuable within. On top of that, the amount of tools usually kept inside means that a crafty burglar can forgo bringing his own incriminating evidence, hop into the shed, and come out with some bolt cutters and wooden axe to help ease entry into the home.
1. Properly secure your shed
Go around the shed and see if there are any obvious ways to break in. Some questions you can ask include:
- Is it secured firmly to the base? - Access might be granted to the shed by simply lifting it.
- Are the windows secure? - Old or cracked windows might not put enough of a fight to properly deter an intruder. Window grills can also prevent them from being smashed.
- Are the panels firmly attached? - An insecure fastening or bolting could leave an easy access point.
- Is the shed old and manky? - Particularly true of wooden sheds, an old rickety shed might not stand up to someone kicking or taking an axe to it.
- Are you using non-returnable screws? - Someone could unscrew the hinges right off the door and walk inside.
2. Pack it away (from the windows)
If your shed is somewhat secure - could be more so, but you’re doing okay - you might have a reasonable chance to deter an intruder who decides it just isn’t worth the time they’ve put into it.
If they spy valuables in the window, however, they might have something worth working for. Keep anything important out of sight from the outside world, firmly stashed away indoors. Alternately, grab some curtains and put them across -- this also gives the benefit of helping regulate your temperature on a hot day.
3. Purchase an proper lock for your shed
No snappy title here.
Purchase a lock, open the lock, and put the lock on the shed. Don’t keep the key in the lock; take the key out of the lock. Take the key with you and put it somewhere safe. When you need to get into the shed, use the key, and then lock it after you leave the shed. Done.
Now, I’m sure you don’t actually need the step-by-step, but you’d be surprised at how many people refuse to actually buy a lock for their shed. Now you have no excuse not to.
In slightly more useful terms for people who have the padlock stage down pat: make sure your lock is of a good, solid quality that can’t be easily cut through with bolt-cutters. At the very least, a thick quality padlock will give enough time that someone might get suspicious and call the police.
4. Hide anything that could be used to gain access to your house
Now, it should already be stowed away, but if you own anything that could be used to break into your home, keep it out of sight completely. Wire or bolt cutters are the biggest offenders here, but it's not that rare to see people leaving a spare door key in the shed for emergencies, or a ladder that could be used to gain access to the second floor (where people often leave unsecured windows).
No matter what the item is, put it somewhere that’ll take a thorough search to find. No burglar is going to look through the rest of your belongings on the off chance that a key will be there if it doesn’t seem that way at first glance.
Another alternative is to simply lock up anything that could be used by the burglar. It might take you a few seconds longer to get your ladder out, but it might be the difference between losing a few minutes of your life, or your irreplaceable valuables.
5. Take care of the rest of the property
Nothing says an easy mark like old, broken fence-posts, peeling paint-jobs, and unmown grass. Doing up the borders of your property acts as a deterrent, because it shows that you’ve put care into your design, and might not have simply forgotten or gotten lax with security.
6. Consider a security system
An alarm system is going to be a pretty big deterrent no matter what, and if someone does break in, they’re going to alert the entire neighbourhood (or property). There are plenty of fairly inexpensive security solutions for both small and large sheds.
If you’re not so huge on the big purchase, consider a much simpler one - motion detection lights. This might not sound like much, but a nighttime burglary might be stopped in its tracks once the light flickers on around them. Plus, it’s just a good purchasing decision in general if you ever need to get something at night.