Your shed holds more valuable items than you may realise, including mowers, trimmers, barbecues, and accessories. This means you must keep it secure from thieves! Consider ten tips for keeping your garden shed secure year-round.
1. Lock it even when in use.
Putting a lock on your garden shed is elementary and obvious, but it’s vital that you lock the shed even when it’s in use. When mowing or trimming your lawn you can be distracted and not able to hear someone coming onto your property, so lock it behind you each and every time you open the shed. Be sure the kids do the same if they store their bikes or other toys there.
2. Put heavy mesh wire around the windows.
This will keep thieves from simply breaking open a window and crawling inside your shed. It can also obstruct their view from what’s inside; if they can’t see your brand new, expensive barbecue or bike, they may be less tempted to steal it. You can easily purchase thick chicken wire or other mesh wire at any hardware, home improvement, or farming supply store and it’s easy to cut and then screw into the window frames.
3. Add extra locks at the top and/or bottom.
This is a deterrent from the doors being pried up and out, enough for someone to slip in and walk away with your smaller items. This is a special concern with cheap, thin aluminium sheds as the material bends very easily and can actually be pulled up in to a full 90-degree angle! A thief can then walk right under this opening and take whatever they like with them.
4. Install motion detector lights.
These are a great deterrent to thieves as they can startle them when they approach and keep them in plain view of everyone, including the neighbours. You can also be alerted to someone’s presence on your property when you see the motion detector lights going on around the shed and can ensure that it’s secured.
5. Use gravel for pathways.
It’s difficult to walk on gravel without making a sound, so use it on the walkway leading up to the shed and around it as well. Be sure to fill in the gravel over time as needed so it works as a natural alarm.
6. Lock up all your tools.
A thief can see your crowbar or even a pair of pliers near your shed and be inspired to use those to break your locks! Keep all your tools securely put away, even the small ones. Use pegboards on your shed if you need the space or install small shelves to hold these tools. As an alternative, lock your items securely in a Tuffbox security box to provide extra confidence that they are truly protected.
7. Chain your larger items together.
It’s difficult to steal a bicycle when it’s chained to the lawnmower, and vice versa. Run a small but sturdy chain through all the larger items in your shed to keep them secure and be sure you keep the lock to the chain someplace separate rather than hanging it up right at the shed door!
8. Prickly shrubs can be planted around the shed.
These can also deter thieves from trying to break into the windows or pry open the doors of your shed. Larger shrubs can also be too difficult to crawl over and around if they want to break into the windows.
9. Mark your items with an engraving tool or fluorescent pen.
Thieves are less likely to steal something they see is clearly marked for ownership. An engraving pen is very inexpensive and easy to use and fluorescent pens are also readily available.
10. Invest in a sturdy shed in the first place, and keep it in good repair.
A small, homemade wooden shed that starts to rot can actually be an invitation for thieves. They may see the boards pulling away from themselves and be tempted to look at what’s inside. The same is true for sheds made of aluminium that are allowed to rust around the connections or walls. These pieces can be easily pulled back or jimmied with a crowbar and a thief has easy access to your space. A tough shed made of durable material that is kept in good repair will be a great deterrent for thieves.
Be sure to check your shed’s condition and the locks regularly, especially after a long winter. If your locks are rusted or not working properly, it’s time they were replaced. If you use a chain to secure the doors of your shed, be sure it’s not rusty as the rust makes it easy to break. It’s also good to note signs of an attempted break-in such as footprints around the shed, the shed being bent, or marks around the windows. You’ll need to increase your security precautions if you see any of these!