While most people associate residential burglaries with house break-ins, the fact that garden sheds, garages and outbuildings are also appealing targets for thieves, is often overlooked.
As well as taking measures to increase the security of your home, have you considered if there are additional areas of your property that may require protection? These areas could include your garden shed, garage or any outbuilding that is separate from your main living space.
Why burglars target sheds and garages
Sheds, garages and outbuildings are commonly used to store valuable tools and equipment, making them an attractive proposition to both seasoned burglars and opportunist thieves. Due to the fact many people take only simple steps to keep them secure, they could be an easy target for criminals on the prowl for high-value items.
What are the most commonly stolen items?
Tools top the average burglar’s shopping list
According to recent statistics around domestic burglary, the most commonly stolen items from non-connected buildings (sheds, garages, outbuildings) were tools and work materials. These make up 42% of such incidents recorded by the Police in England and Wales.
31% of stolen items are classified as garden furniture, whilst bicycles (10%) and sports equipment (10%) also feature.
Source: Office for National Statistics - Crime Survey for England and Wales year ending March 2018
How to secure your garden shed - 7 tips to prevent burglary
We asked our home security experts for their best advice on how to prevent burglars from targeting external buildings such as sheds, garages and summer houses. Here are their top tips for deterring thieves and maximising your security.
1. Extend your existing home alarm system to your shed/garage
If you use your shed or garage to store expensive equipment, we recommend that you consider protecting it with an intruder alarm system. There are two main options here:
Install a shed alarm to deter and detect intruders
You could choose to install a standalone intruder alarm system to protect your shed. This will give you peace of mind knowing that if a burglar attempts to break-in, they will immediately trigger the system and raise a loud audible alarm. Installing a standalone system is not always the cheapest option, but it will certainly provide an effective layer of protection and increase the chances of a thief being caught.
Have a wireless alarm installed to protect your home? Consider extending your system to secure your shed/garage
Wireless alarm systems are now the most popular option for protecting modern homes. Wireless technology is considered to be more flexible and cost-effective as there is significantly less wiring needed to connect detection devices to the main control panel.
For residential customers, this has made it much easier to include their shed or garage within their overall security solution. As each detection device is linked to the alarm control panel using wireless signals, your installer can simply install additional detectors into your outbuildings and link them up to your home’s main system. This is dependent on how far away your shed or garage is from your house, and as always, we recommend speaking to a professional home security expert for further advice on how this could work for you.
2. Make sure you have a decent lock
A strong locking system is a must for every shed or garage. Although a basic padlock is better than having no lock in place, this might not be much of a deterrent for an experienced burglar, who is likely to be armed with tools capable of dismantling the average lock. Stronger locks are available on the market that can provide better protection against break-ins for only a few pounds more. Look out for closed-shackle padlocks, which help protect against bolt cutters and saws by only having a small part of the lock’s shackle on show.
3. Make your high-value items extra secure
Ensure that any particularly valuable items (such as tools and bicycles) are locked securely within the area that they’re stored. For example, when it comes to your bicycle, you could install a ground or wall anchor. A burglar is less likely to spend extra time trying to prize it away if it looks like too much of a challenge.
4. Cover up unnecessary windows
If your shed has windows but you only use it for storage, we recommend covering them up from the inside. This will prevent anyone with a criminal intent from getting a glimpse of what’s inside.
5. Install CCTV cameras
CCTV for homes, in general, has become increasingly popular over recent years. As new technology has improved the quality of cameras available, growth in demand has driven down the cost. This makes security cameras a much more affordable home security option, should you be interested in monitoring the activity in and around your home and garden, 24 hours a day.
6. Light up dark areas
78% of all shed burglaries occur at night, so installing lighting is a great way to ensure potential intruders cannot use the cover of darkness to carry out their crimes. If they are more likely to be seen, they are more likely to be caught.
7. Mark your belongings with SmartWater
Should a burglar get the better of your shed’s physical security, property marking greatly enhances the chances of you being reunited with your belongings. SmartWater is an anti-theft system used to mark individual items with a traceable liquid. This traceable liquid carries a unique code that is registered to you. If your valuables are recovered by the Police, this code will confirm your proof of ownership. These clever liquids are visible only in UV light and once applied, they are almost impossible to remove.
For more home security advice
Here at Allcooper, we have been protecting homes with alarm and CCTV systems for over 30 years. If you would like advice from our experts, or to arrange a free survey and quotation, please get in touch.