One area of home security that homeowners often overlook is the security of the outbuildings of their homes. Unfortunately, thieves realise this and they certainly don’t overlook the fact that the security of these buildings could be better.
Sadly, sheds, garages, summerhouses and greenhouses are the buildings of choice for opportunist thieves who are looking for an easy target.
So what can you do to better protect the valuables that you store in your sheds and summerhouses? Read on to find out our top tips for outbuilding security.
Shed and Garage Security
These buildings are often the target for thieves because they contain high value tools and in many cases bikes and sometimes even motorbikes.
The best precaution to stop someone stealing a bike is to lock it up when it is being stored in your shed. The thief will be looking to ride it away to get away from the area as fast as possible. This of course is made a lot harder if you have fitted your bike lock. The effort required to saw through the lock or to carry the bike away will be enough to put off most thieves.
For motorbikes a good solution is to fit a ground anchor (such as these we found at sportsbikeshop.co.uk) within the garage. This is a locking point, cemented into the floor or fixed to the wall that you attach your regular motorcycle lock to.
Unfortunately, power tools are harder to secure, and are often small and portable. A good option that removes them from sight of any windows is to invest in a tool chest (preferably a metal one) that is fitted with a high quality lock or can be fitted with a high security padlock.
It’s not just sheds and garages that have high value items stored in them. Whilst thieves will generally not want to steal garden tables and chairs that you have stored in your summerhouse, items like patio heaters and barbecues will be highly attractive to them.
We spoke to Graham Jones of MPL Locksmith Training, a UK based firm that trains locksmiths for his recommendations on summerhouse and greenhouse security. He told us “most summerhouses are fitted with uPVC doors and windows, so replacing the locks in them is always a good idea. This is especially important if the summerhouse was installed by a previous owner of the house – you have guarantee that you have all the keys you’re your summerhouse or where any spare keys have ended up.”
We found several good tutorials for fitting window locks on video sites like you tube. We haven’t shared the links because the type of lock you need will depend on the windows you have, but some simple searching should give you all the info you need to do this job for yourself.
Fitting the uPVC door locks themselves is probably a job you’ll want to get a professional locksmith to do, unless of course you are a regular DIY’er with a good selection of tools and experience.
By their very nature it is difficult to hide valuable item out of sight in your greenhouse. For us this means that it is essential that you remove all valuable items from your greenhouse to your shed when they are not in use.
Smashing the glass of a greenhouse is often not the chosen method of entry for thieves. It makes too much noise and risks drawing attention that they don’t want. Usually they will attempt to pry open the door, so this is where you should focus your attempts to improve security.
Our top tip for greenhouse door security is to fit a padlock at the top and bottom of the door. You’ll need a different type of hasp and staple depending on if you have a sliding door or a conventionally opening greenhouse door. In any case these are readily available at your local garden centre or DIY store. Choosing a high quality padlock for the new top and bottom locking points is essential.
Keeping the outbuildings at your property well lit will be a big deterrent for opportunist thieves. We recommend that you consider getting outdoor security lights with motion sensors fitted to all of your outbuildings. This may involve some cost and installation by an electrician, but in our opinion is well worth the investment.
We’d like to thank you for reading our article and hope that it has given you some useful pointers for improving the security of your sheds, greenhouses, summerhouses and garages. If you have any outbuilding security tips that you’d like to share with our readership, why not leave us a comment on the blog?