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How To Secure Your Garden Shed

Superior Shed with security lock and steel bars in the windows.

Garden sheds have long been easy low-risk, high-reward targets for opportunistic intruders. The humble shed structure offers valuable tools and equipment little protection from burglars with its weak doors and easily accessible windows, and as sheds are usually situated away from the main house, it’s unlikely you will hear anyone breaking in.

Thefts from storage garden sheds are particularly common during the summer months. Insurance giant Aviva has revealed that "thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by over a quarter (25%) when the clocks go forward with the average haul totalling around £850." To help you protect your shed and its contents from burglars, there are several ways you can boost your shed security measures.

Reinforce The Door

Reinforced doors will be framed, ledged, braced and then mortised and tenoned together to offer more protection through their strength and rigidity meaning they can withstand greater forces should someone try to break through the door. However, in many cases, intruders will gain access through the door by simply removing the hinges. It is advisable to secure your door hinges with heavy-duty tamper-proof screws like clutch-heads or coach bolts. At Crane Garden Buildings our Superior Sheds and Garages have been designed with a fully reinforced door and we offer a security pack add-on which includes permanent heavy-duty clutch-head or tamper-proof screws. 

Strengthen The Windows

Windows are the main entry point for burglars. The glass can easily be smashed, or the frame removed leaving a gaping hole they can use to gain access and take out any larger tools and pieces of equipment. If you’re only planning to use your shed for storage it’s worth considering one without windows at all.  If a window in your shed is a must, double glazing with toughened & laminated glass will offer better protection than a single glass window pane. It’s also recommended to add metal bars if possible which will be even more crucial if you already have single glazed windows to help to physically prevent break-ins through the windows. All our windows are made with toughened safety glass, and we have the option on our Superior Sheds to upgrade to double glazing and we have a security pack add-on that includes 13mm integral stainless steel security bars.

Install Robust Locks

Seasoned shed burglars can cut through cheap, small locks like butter! A padlock is still the best option but they are not all made equally. A good sturdy lock will be made from alloy steel or brass and have a reinforced design. The shackle ideally needs to be shielded or hidden as this prevents the burglar from using cutters. Along with the tamper-proof screws used to secure the hinges, staple, and hasp, they will all work together to offer your valuables the best protection. Another important thing to remember is to lock your shed after every use, even for brief periods. Professional burglars are very opportunistic and spend time staking out locations, if the chance arises even in the daytime you may return to find your tools and equipment missing. We offer a security pack add-on to all of our Superior Sheds that includes a fully encased 7-lever security lock which is bolted on through the door posts, using coach bolts so they cannot be removed from the outside. 

Security pack includes steel window bars, seven-lever door lock, and reinforced doors.

Location Is Key

Ideally your shed should be in a position where you can see it from your house, and so it cannot be seen from the street or any public paths near your property. This reduces the chance of it being discovered by burglars in the first place as well as acting as a deterrent, as they are more likely to be caught breaking in if you have a view of it from your house. Make sure any surrounding vegetation is kept trimmed so as not to obscure your view or create hiding spots for intruders.

Consider Motion-Activated Security Lighting

Now that you can see your shed from your house, it needs to have good lighting, particularly around entry points like doors and windows. Burglars will feel more comfortable operating in darkness and using low-light torches to avoid being detected. Consider motion-activated security lights that could potentially startle intruders and alert you to their presence.

Obscure The Windows

A clear window will allow burglars to see what valuables you have stored in your shed before breaking into it. Consider using opaque window coverings or security film to obscure visibility into the shed, reducing the temptation for potential intruders. Alternatively, if you work in your shed and need natural light, curtains or blinds should be installed and closed when the shed is not in use.

Secure Your Valuables

Once you’ve secured the outside of your shed, it’s time to turn your attention to the inside. Small tools can be kept inside a locked cabinet, larger items can be secured using a heavy-duty chain through bike frames (wheels can be easily removed) or around tool handles, linking them together. This stops thieves from being able to pick up individual valuable items.

The security pack also contains tamper-proof screws. You can add additional features such as the motion-activated light.

Install An Alarm System

Even with increasing the security of your shed's structure, if the prize is big enough, intruders will be persistent in their attempts to take it from you. Further protect your valuables by installing a burglar alarm system.  You could have an alarm linked to your home security system or you can buy battery-powered kits online. This will startle the intruder and notify you that your shed has been broken into, leaving them very little time to remove your valuables.

Anchor The Shed

Anchoring is when you secure your shed to the base either with ground anchors or L-brackets. This will only be beneficial if your shed doesn’t have a floor and is erected directly onto a concrete base for instance. It is possible for burglars to simply lift small sheds or tip them to one side to gain access to your belongings.

Our Classic and Superior Sheds both come with a floor as standard and due to the weight of the dense, quality timber we use, they do not need to be anchored to the base.

Make Sure You're Insured

Have assurance that should you be unfortunate enough to have your shed broken into with valuables stolen this will be covered by your home insurance. Check the small print to see what exactly is covered. Damage to the shed itself would be under your building insurance and the contents would be covered by the contents insurance.

Keep An Updated Inventory

Maintain an updated inventory of valuable items stored in the shed, including descriptions, serial numbers, estimated values, and photographs. This will be useful should you need to claim on your insurance or send it to the police to help them identify your stolen belongings.

Use A UV Marking Solution

It is advised by the Metropolitan Police that all your valuable tools and equipment are marked with your postcode and house number using a forensic marking solution that can be seen under Ultraviolet (UV) light. This will help the police to identify stolen goods and make it more difficult for them to be sold on.

Keep Your Community Aware

If you have a local Neighbourhood Watch it may be time to get involved. The scheme fosters a sense of community vigilance and increases awareness of suspicious activity. With Smart video doorbells and CCTV now a common feature in many people’s homes, being able to access video footage in your neighbourhood could help you see your belongings again and the intruder in handcuffs.

Final Thoughts

No timber shed can be considered 100% secure but we can make it as difficult as possible for intruders to break in and steal your belongings. Delaying the burglary process will give you more time to be alerted to their presence and notify the police who will hopefully be able to catch them red-handed.

Inside a Superior Shed that is being used as a large workshop. The shed has steel bars and a reinforced door to deter intruders.


What are some cost-effective ways to secure my garden shed?

For particularly valuable items, consider storing them in a locked cabinet or safe within the shed. For larger items consider a heavy-duty chain bolted to the floor for additional security. It’s advised by the Police that valuables should be marked with a UV pen to include your postcode and house name which may increase the chances of being reunited if they were to be stolen.

 How can I make my shed less attractive to thieves?

Avoid storing valuable items in plain sight, especially near windows. Consider using opaque window coverings to obscure visibility and discourage potential intruders from peering inside.

What are some additional security measures I can take for high-value items?

For particularly valuable items, consider storing them in a locked cabinet or safe within the shed. For larger items consider a heavy-duty chain bolted to the floor for additional security. It’s advised by the Police that valuables should be marked with a UV pen to include your postcode and house name which may increase the chances of being reunited if they were to be stolen.

How can I involve my community in preventing shed theft?

Participate in neighbourhood watch programs to foster a sense of community vigilance and increase awareness of suspicious activity. Report any suspicious activity around your shed or neighbours' sheds to the police promptly.

What should I do if my shed is broken into?

If your shed is broken into, immediately contact the police and file a report. Provide them with a detailed inventory of stolen items, including photographs and identifying marks. Check with neighbours for any potential witnesses or surveillance footage. Inform your insurance company about the theft and provide them with the police report and inventory.

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