Ultimate Guide to Garden Shed Security
This part of the ultimate guide to home security we look at your garden shed. The garden shed is often overlooked in terms of home security; this makes it a prime target for thieves. Sheds are often filled with garden tools which, in turn, could be used to break in to your actual house. That’s why keeping your shed secure is more important than you might realise, the consequences of not could be more costly than you think.
Garden Shed Security
Home to some of the most valuable things, such as power tools, equipment and maybe even a bike or two, the garden shed can often be forgotten about when it comes to home security which can be a big mistake! But have no fear as we show you below how you can secure you garden shed and make sure your home and garden security stays intact!
Different Types of Garden Shed
The most popular materials for a shed to be made from are wood, metal and sometimes plastic, but there are many different designs and styles to choose from.
The most common shed in the UK, this wooden shed features a rectangle with a 2 sided roof that meets in the middle and slops down to the sides. This is what you will probably think of when you think of a garden shed. An Apex shed can have the join of the two slopping roofs along the length of the shed or you can have it along the width of the shed making it a reverse apex shed.
Offset Apex Shed
A smaller version of a typical apex Shed but the shed door is placed off centre to one side.
If you are limited to where you can place your shed, a pent might be the one for you. A pent shed features one roof that has a higher point on a single side. The traditional pent will see the highest point of the roof on the same side as the door whereas a reverse pent shed features a higher point on the side opposite the door.
A cross between a greenhouse and a shed, this shed features large sloping walls made of thin plastic or glass which allows heat and light to come through. This shed is perfect for those who want to grow vegetables or plants but also want storage for other garden and home.
These types of shed will be attached to a solid structure, such as a house or wall.
Log Store Shed
This is a shed that is designed to house logs or chopped wood. It is usually in the style of a pent shed and usually has one side completely empty. These can be stand alone or added onto another type of shed depending on your needs.
Designed to maximise space, a corner shed fits into the corner of an outdoor pace with a horizontal door. These are great if you want to minimise the amount of space that your shed is taking up.
Which Garden Shed is the Most Secure?
The main difference in the security of a shed, is the material it is made out of. Sheds commonly come in three standard materials: wood, metal, and plastic. Each material has its own positives and negatives, whether it is in security, aesthetics, durability, or maintenance.
Compared to metal and wooden shed, plastic shed are relatively new to the market and have become a popular choice. Typically, plastic sheds are made of a vinyl material that makes the sheds lighter, stronger, and more durable than a classic wooden shed. Unlike metal and wooden sheds, a plastic shed requires little to no maintenance.
Metal sheds are not only one of the most popular choices for homes in the UK but are popular across the world. They would make a great choice for those looking for a more robust place to store expensive items and they are generally less expensive than wooden sheds and can come in a range of colours to suit any style.
Advantages of a Metal Shed
A very robust material, metal sheds offer greater protection from someone wanting to break in and are a good choice if you are planning to store any valuables in there.
Surprisingly, metal sheds are actually cheaper and more affordable than wooden ones making them great value for money when you consider their heighted security capabilities.
With a good quality metal shed, they are designed to stand up to harsher environments which is perfect for colder UK months where we see a lot of rain and sometimes even snow! Metal sheds wont rot or decay and some models are even rust and corrosion resistant!
Disadvantages of a Metal Shed
When compared to a wooden or plastic shed, standard metal sheds are on the unattractive side. You can pay a premium to get them in prettier colours or even in a faux wood grain, but they are still argued as a bit of an eyesore.
For simple storage metal sheds are great but if you are looking to hang shelves and storage solutions, metal sheds can be quite hard to customise.
Bad Ventilation and Insulation
Metal sheds can ‘sweat’ and form condensation, potentially causing harm to anything stored in there. Of course, this isn’t the end of the world, but you need to make sure that when you are purchasing a metal shed it has good insulation and ventilation.
Arguably the most popular and traditional choice, wooden sheds are a fan favourite as they not only do the job, but they look pretty too. A wooden shed is perfect for any purpose and can be used in multiple different ways very easily. Timber is often used when creating summer houses, where not only are valuables for the garden stored but to also give you a space to hang out and relax in the garden.
Advantages of a Wooden Shed
With so many designs, colours, and textures available, you can design a wooden shed to suit the style of your garden and make it seamlessly blend in instead of being an eyesore. On the inside as well, the timber allows for shelving and storage solutions to be installed easily, making it perfect for chopping and changing its usefulness.
Tongue and groove cladding gives you a tight seal against water and other harmful elements, with the natural air pockets in the wood helping to insulate the shed. This means that they tend to stay warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer months.
The heaviness and solidity of the timber means that wooden sheds can withstand the harshest of the UK weather and still remain standing.
Disadvantages of a Wooden Shed
Rot, Decay, and Infestation
If you leave the wood untreated it can leave the shed susceptible to rotting, wood decay and inspect infestation.
Prone to moisture as most shed are, the disadvantage that wooden sheds have is that with moisture they can warp, leaving the whole structure unsafe.
Wooden sheds are high maintenance compared to metal or plastic ones and require regular treating and care. When there is heavy rain, a wooden shed must be checked for damp, rot and even insects.
Wooden sheds are generally more expensive than metal or plastic ones in upfront costs and general maintenance.
The most budget friendly option for those looking for low maintenance and flexibility, plastic sheds are great for extra storage without a massive price tag.
Advantages of a Plastic Shed
Strong and Lightweight
These strong structures are often secured with some sort of frame, often metal in more expensive models, which makes them durable but still lightweight enough to be able to move it around depending on your changing needs or even be dismantled when moving house.
Little to no Maintenance
UV-resistant means that the colour of the shed won’t fade in the sun, unlike wooden sheds you won’t have any issues with rot or moisture so when it comes to maintenance it’s as simple as giving it a good wipe down.
Disadvantages of a Plastic Shed
Lack of Security
Plastic sheds are just not as secure as wooden or metal ones and can easily be broken into, making them not the safest place to store high priced valuables.
Although still relatively durable, a lower quality budget plastic shed can be affected by the weather, becoming brittle in extreme cold and even buckling and wrapping in the heat.
The Best Ways to Secure a Garden Shed
Garden sheds are often targeted by thieves as they are commonly a lot less secure than a house, yet they still contain lots of valuable equipment, some of which could be used to break into a house itself.
1. Choose the Location Wisely
Position the shed so that it can’t be seen from the street or any alleys as to become a target for any opportunists. But make sure to keep the shed in sight of the house as not to create a blind spot for a burglar to target.
2. Upgrade the Door Hinge
One of the weakest spots on your shed regardless of whether it is metal, wooden, or plastic, if the door hinge is attached with short screws they can easily be broken or unscrewed off. Upgrade the screws to nuts and bolts and then placing a little bit of superglue to fully secure it into place.
3. Update the Lock
The standard lock or padlock that comes with a shed is usually pretty standard, consider upgrading to a closed shackle padlock that minimises the area of the shackle that can be cut can take away a burglar’s opportunity to force entry into the shed.
4. Don’t Leave Valuables on Display
If you have a shed with windows, you need to be cautious of what is left on display. If you are storing valuables in the shed, make sure that anyone’s view from the outside is restricted. Consider installing stick on opaque security sheets that obscure the view and also can prevent glass shattering or using glass frosting spray.
If you use your shed for more than storage and would like the light to shine through, consider putting up blinds or curtains which you can then shut when you are not in the shed.
5. Fit an Alarm
If you are storing tools and valuables in the shed, why not consider installing a burglar alarm. Just a simple alarm is needed, one where it can alert people if someone has gotten into the shed when they should have and maybe even deter would be burglars from choosing your shed as a target.
6. Lock Large Items Together
If you are storing large valuable items in your shed, such as bikes, lawnmowers or maybe even a leaf blower, chain them all together and secure with a lock. This makes it harder for a burglar to steal a single item and reduces the risk of anything getting stolen.
Garden Shed Security Locks
Adding or upgrading a lock is an easy and mostly inexpensive way to upgrade the security of your garden shed and reduce your risk of becoming a target. There are a few different locks that we would suggest considering securing your garden shed.
The least secure option, this kind of lock is fixed onto the door and held in place with screws and further secured with a strike plate. Fitted onto the surface of the door, a rim lock is quite convenient to use but as it secured onto the door it is a bit obtrusive. These are the least secure option as if burglar wanted to get in, the lock is only held in place with wood screw so can easily be forced open if given the opportunity.
Sometimes referred to as a Brenton bolt, a pad bolt is a circular metal bolt that slides across and is secured into place with a padlock. Probably one of the most common lock fixings, this lock is featured often on gates and when paired with a secure padlock is a good option to increase security. With dome head square bolts that pass through the door frame the lock is held quite securely in place.
Hasp and Staple
A similar idea to the pad bolt, the staple is a stationary anchor secured to the shed or door frame that has a loop where a padlock can be attached. The hasp is hinged rectangle of metal that has a slit at the end and is attached to the shed door. To secure the door the hasp is secured over the loop on the staple and then a padlock is attached to the loop, which then stops the hasp from being able to lift off and locks the door to the frame.
Garden Shed Security Bar
Another way to secure your shed is by using a security bar which adds an extra layer of security on top of a lock. They consist of a metal bar that lies horizontally across the shed door and is secured into place using a padlock. This makes it difficult for the door to be opened outwards as the bar is fixed in the middle of the door.
Be cautious however of adding excessive security as it can be an indicator that you have valuables in your shed and provoke a burglar to make an extra effort to try and get in.
Garden Shed Security Bolts
When keeping valuables such as bikes and tools in your garden shed you want to ensure that they are safe. Often the bog standard lock that comes with your shed can be easy bypassed or broken giving a burglar easy access to your valuables. A relatively easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the security of your shed is to install a hasp staple and a good quality padlock; we suggest a padlock model that is closed shackle to ensure it can be as secure as possible!
Garden Shed Security Hinges
There are lots of ways to secure your shed door hinge further by upgrading your basic T hinge to a security hinge. They are very similar but unlike a T hinge, a security hinge has larger holes to accommodate dome headed bolts. This stops potential burglars from simply unscrewing the screws in place and lifting off the whole door.
Garden Shed Security Alarms
Installing a shed alarm is another step to ensure you are securing your shed as much as possible. There are a few varieties out there depending on your needs including:
- Using a sensor or PIR (Passive Infra-Red) alarm, the latter being a little smarter by only detecting movements that can only be the movements of humans rather than detecting the small movements of animals.
- Alarm type: The basic is a siren alarm that bellows a loud noise when triggered in hope the burglar runs away. Another option is to set up a remote signal to your phone that quietly indicates someone entering your shed so you can alert the police.
- Power supply: It is more secure to hook your alarm up to the main supply as a battery powered system can run out of power when you need it most or you need to be on top of making sure the alarm is charged.
The Best Shed Alarms for 2021
1. Tiiwee A1 Home Alarm System
A wireless security system that is designed to be simple and straightforward that combines door/window sensors with a siren so that should someone enter your shed without permission, a 120 DB siren will sound alerting others to the intrusion and hopefully scaring off the burglar before they steal anything. Using the remote, you can disable the alarm before entering the shed which is much simpler than a keypad.
One of the biggest benefits about this simple system is that false alarms are almost non-existent as they only go off when the door or window is opened!
The starter kit which includes the siren, 2 sensors and 1 remote control can be purchased from Amazon for £53.90.
2. Yale Alarm Kit
A bit more expensive but just as useful, this kit can be expanded with up to 30 accessories and depending on the size and importance of the contents in the shed you can use a pet friendly motion sensor that only logs motion with something that weighs more 27 kg.
The siren that is included is slightly lower than the Tiwee A1 and is only 104 DB, however for reference a lawn mower is around 90 DB with anything over 85 DB being considered a harmful level of noise.
The starter kit is current available on Amazon for £149.00.
3. 3G UltraPIR GSM Alarm
This one is great for those who would like to be notified should anything be detected. You can set up an automated call or text message should someone try and break into your shed!
Enabled with 3G, when the alarm is tripped a 130 DB siren is triggered and a push notification is sent to your phone to let you know wherever you are.
You can find this alarm on Amazon for £79.95.
Garden Shed Window Security
Shed windows are susceptible to break-ins as they are often the weakest point of the shed, this doesn’t have to be the case though as there are a few ways you can secure your shed window:
- Hang up blinds or curtains; this will hopefully deter a burglar as they will not be able to see any valuables inside.
- Upgrade your window; double-glazed, shatter-proof, or laminated glass windows are much harder to break than single glazed windows.
- Install a security shutter. These not only hide the valuables that are inside your shed but also stop a potential burglar smashing the window to gain access.
Garden Shed Security FAQs
- Choose the right spot for your shed
- Upgrade the locks
- Secure the hinges
- Don’t leave valuables on display
- Fit an alarm
- Lock larger, more expensive items together
When properly secured, sheds become harder to break into and are less attractive targets for would be burglars.
We suggest a hasp and staple with a strong, durable, high security padlock.
Make sure you have the right lock installed as to properly secure the door, pair this with reinforcing the hinges of the door to ensure that the door is secured.
Consider installing opaque security sheets on the windows, this will not only help to obscure any valuables inside your shed but also helps prevent the glass in the window smashing should someone try to force entry.