Stop That Thief! Garden Security

The Problem

Garden buildings can be easy prey to a thief, often featuring little or no security features, but storing small or valuable items such as power tools that can easily be moved on and sold. Thefts from Garden Sheds are particularly common during the summer months. Insurance giant, Aviva has shown: "Analysis of ten years of claims data from Aviva reveals that thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by over a quarter (25%) when the clocks go forward with the average haul totaling around £850.

"Peter Ketteringham, household underwriting manager at Aviva, says; "Extra hours of sunlight are obviously very welcome after months of darkness, but it also means that your expensive power tools, bikes and golf clubs are more visible than ever to an opportunistic thief". Most insurers do not offer a separate product for garden sheds as they are usually covered by your home buildings and/or content cover, but you should clarify the specific points of your individual policy as you may find that you aren't actually covered.

Integral security bars on a garden shedSecurity Basics

The most obvious point is to not advertise valuables; clear everything away at the end of the day, so there is nothing lying around in the garden to tempt unwelcome visitors. If you have a lock, make sure you use it - if you don't have a lock, consider buying a robust one. Whether you opt for a key or combination lock is purely a matter of personal choice. We recommend spending a bit more and purchasing a good quality one which will potentially offer a better level of security than one that is cheaply made.

  • Ensure ladders, wheelie bins and anything else that can be used to climb up on are all out of view or shut away. Ladders should be locked away or secured, particularly in areas with higher crime rates.
  • Mark your property with UV marking pens, paints, or engraving. Security lighting is particularly effective as a deterrent and usually helps to scare a thief away once they become illuminated.
  • Thieves like to be as quiet as possible to avoid detection, so noisy gravel or shingle paths and driveways are advisable.


Cheaper sheds of poor workmanship or sub-standard timber and construction, are immediately unstable and insecure, and susceptible to attack.

Windows bring daylight into the shed, but also offer an opportunity for entry. Toughened/safety glass together with window bars are recommended. Many cheaper sheds use horticultural glass, which offers very little resistance and breaks easily.

Steel bars can be mortised into the top and bottom window frames which means that even if the glass does smash, nobody can climb through the windows.

Non-returnable (anti-vandal) screws can be used in the door so that the tooled thief isn't able to simply unscrew the door and walk-in.

If the thief can't unscrew the door and can't get through the windows of a heavy-duty garden shed, then that only leaves the lock as a weak point.

A common lock for a garden shed is a hasp and staple type which is easily broken into by a jimmy or such like. Ideally what is required is a sliding bolt with its own unique key and a fully encased 7 lever lock which is anti-sawing, anti-picking, anti-prising, and anti-cropping.

We offer a security pack and since 1994 when it was introduced we have almost eradicated break-ins of our sheds. We offer the window bars, non-returnable screws and a master lock as a complete package on our range of heavy-duty sheds. Toughened safety glass comes as standard. We believe we have the answer to shed security, allowing you to store any items that you choose in your garden shed.

If you're interested in learning more about shed security, please see the related article: Garden Shed & Workshop Security.

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