Garden offices are a perfect solution for creating a dedicated workspace at home and are ideal for those working from home.
They are built for a dedicated purpose offering complete privacy without any distractions and have been used by many homeowners in the UK.
Garden offices became even more popular in 2020 when working from home became the new normal as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Work from home (WFH) was made necessary to curb the transmission of the virus and save lives all around the world. It not just helped in controlling the pandemic, but also made people realise its benefits for both employees and employers.
The future of how businesses will operate has changed completely, with many companies embracing the change and adopting WFH as part of their business.
With that, garden offices have become even more popular than ever. They aren’t just a great solution for those affected by the pandemic but are also great for anybody wanting a dedicated place in their home for their office work.
Since most garden offices are situated at a distance from the main house and often have valuables such as office equipment and confidential papers, it can bring about issues of garden office security.
Here are our top garden office security tips on how to keep those pesky burglars away:
MAKE IT STRUCTURALLY STRONG
Garden offices are also known as posh sheds and since sheds are a common target for burglaries due to them being located away from the main house, the same can be said about the “posh sheds” too.
The difference, however, between the two is that while sheds are usually a flimsy structure that is already vulnerable, garden offices are designed to be as secure as your house and are built using the same materials and building techniques.
It is recommended to use good quality doors and windows for the garden office, preferably the same ones used in the main house.
Almost all the garden office designs sold in the country use doors and windows fitted with multi-point locking systems, making them very secure and difficult to break into.
You must choose doors and windows that open inwards to prevent the hinges from being attacked and the structure from being lifted out.
Also, the windows must be fitted with locking handles so that they can’t be opened unless they are unlocked from the inside.
Unlike sheds that are usually made up of thin timber skin, garden offices must be made up of multi-layer walls creating a thick and sturdy structure that is difficult to damage and break into.
To break through the walls of a structurally strong garden office, a burglar would have to be equipped with several types of tools and invest time and effort into it, something that they do not wish to do for the fear of getting caught.
As an additional security measure, have your garden office face the house if possible. This way, if a burglar attempts to target it, someone from the house would most likely spot and catch them.
KEEP VALUABLES AWAY
When casing a property as a potential target, there are two main things that burglars look for: valuables that they can easily steal and ease of access.
Placing valuable office items such as laptops, equipment, and furniture in plain sight of anyone passing by might tempt the wrong people, aka burglars, to try and steal them.
Keeping them out of sight is one of the most basic security practices that one can adopt. When not in use, it is best to either shift the portable items to the main house and, for items that can’t be moved, you may cover them up so that nothing remains on display.
Security safes are a good investment and can be installed inside the garden office or the main house to lock up valuable items and ensure that the contents remain protected from threats such as theft, fire, floods, and other disasters.
You may also install full-length curtains or blinds for glass doors and windows to keep the inside of the garden office out of sight, especially when it is not in use.
SECURE IT WITH HIGH-QUALITY INSURANCE APPROVED LOCKS
Garden offices may have more than one door and, in addition to ensuring that they are made of a strong material such as wood, uPVC, or composite, they must be reinforced and made less vulnerable using high-quality locks bolted into the top and bottom, as well as horizontally into the frame.
There are several types of door locks available on the market and they come in a range of shapes, sizes, and the level of protection that they offer.
It is important to note that the quality of your locks is a basic requirement for home insurance and since a garden office is an extension of your home, investing in inferior ones may negatively affect it.
Some of the most common door locks include mortice locks, rim locks, lever locks, and Euro cylinder locks.
Most insurance companies will require you to fit an anti-snap five-lever mortice lock with a BSI Kitemark, which is considered to be one of the best locks for door security.
You may also opt for a keyless entry system, also called an access control system, for your garden office that wouldn’t just eliminate the need for keys but will also grant you more control over who enters your property.
Access control systems control and manage access into a property using a variety of authentication methods such as access cards, keypads/pin codes, biometrics, and remote access/smart locks.
All of them offer varying levels of security with biometrics and smart locks being the most technologically advanced.
For added security, you may also install two-factor authentication to your garden office door where people will be required to verify their credentials using two different authentication methods.
This way, if one of the methods is compromised, such as the access card being lost or the codes being stolen, you could still count on the second verification method to allow only permitted people to enter.
In addition to added control, keyless entry systems allow you to track who enters your garden office and when; something you could never do with traditional locks and keys.
MOTION SENSOR LIGHTING
Motion sensor lights are an important part of security and although they can’t stop a crime from happening, they can, however, startle an intruder and bring all attention towards them.
Since criminals love to work in the dark and hate attention, this feature alone is enough for them to stay away from your property.
When choosing the right type of security lights for your garden office, there are a few features that you need to look for.
Infrared technology is one of the most important features that detect an intrusion using heat detection. Security lights using passive infrared (PIF) will not turn on by a small animal or tree, and will only detect large bodies of heat such as that of humans and vehicles. You may also adjust the motion sensitivity to suit your requirements.
The coverage area of the motion sensor lighting is critical in how effective the installation will be and the larger the coverage area, the more effective it will be in detecting an intrusion.
PIR lights that provide an extended coverage area are not just able to detect more intrusions and sooner, but also help reduce the number of security lights needed to protect your garden office.
LED bulbs are a great option when choosing the perfect motion-activated security lights for your garden office. They not only provide instant intense illumination but are also extremely efficient with minimal energy usage.
Coupled with adjustable light timers, motion-activated lights give you the option to set how long you wish for the lights to stay on after detecting an intrusion.
You can also install light timers that work by automatically switching on/off the lights, leaving burglars guessing whether the place is empty or not.
They also give you the chance to override the timer and switch on/off your lights remotely, which enables you to control them even when you are away from your home, such as on a vacation.
One important thing to note here is that since these are outdoor lights, they must have a proper casing to protect them from harsh weather as well as tampering and vandalism.
USE ADVANCED INTRUDER ALARMS
It is just as important to install a security alarm system in your garden office as it is to install one in your home. It is not just an effective way to deter criminals from targeting your property but is also one of the easiest.
Security alarms use various types of sensors such as motion, infrared, ultrasonic, microwave, magnetic, photoelectric, and glass-break sensors which are strategically positioned at key points within the garden office.
The sensors can be connected to the alarm system in the main house so that you can be alerted every time an unusual activity is detected.
Depending on the type of system you choose, the alarm may be connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) where the keyholders or police will be notified if an intrusion is detected.
You may also be notified via phone, text, or email and, if you have a smart security alarm that is managed by an app, you may also receive real-time updates and notifications on your phone from absolutely anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection.
INSTALL A CCTV SYSTEM
Since garden offices are built at a distance from your main house, it can sometimes be difficult to keep an eye on what’s happening, giving burglars the right opportunity and cover to target them.
They capture images and video and transmit them to a connected monitor to be viewed in real-time or later as recordings. They allow users to keep an eye on their property and are very useful for monitoring garden offices.
CCTV cameras don’t just help monitor the area but also record any particular activity that can be used as evidence against a trespasser or burglar.
There are many different types of CCTV cameras with different features and budgets to monitor your garden office.
Some of the most popular ones include bullet, dome, C-mount, PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom), day/night, infrared/night vision, network/IP, wired, wireless, and high definition (HD) CCTV cameras.
Choosing the best one for your garden office depends on several factors including the camera’s resolution, the field of view, placement, power supply, budget, and additional features that include professional monitoring, smartphone notifications, remote access, and two-way communication.
However, certain legal requirements have to be met if you intend to place a CCTV camera outside your property. You must make sure that you angle it in a way that it doesn’t infringe on your neighbours’ or passers-bys’ privacy.
Since garden offices are a part of the garden, it only makes sense to secure your garden to prevent intruders from even making their way towards your office space.
You must go around your house and look at it from a burglar’s perspective – it’ll help you identify the weak spots and create barriers for entry.
Choosing the right kind of barriers are key to keeping your garden safe from intrusions. If they are made in a way that makes them easy to break or climb on to, they might do you more harm than good.
Gates and fences must be made with super strong, durable material, and they should be high enough to keep the inside hidden from plain view.
Fences with sharpened points on the top are also effective in preventing criminals from even attempting to climb atop them and make their way into your property.
Thorny plants can also be strategically placed around the base of the fence’s perimeter, or underneath windows, all the while adding to the look of your home.
Some of the most common plants to be used as hedge barriers include Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Dog Rose, Holly, and Red Pyracantha.
CONSULT WITH A PROFESSIONAL SECURITY COMPANY
Just implementing security systems and measures is not enough to guarantee maximum garden office protection. You must choose a reliable security company to provide you with state-of-the-art services and also guide you along the way.
At Calder Security, we understand the special security that garden offices require and are here to provide you with a comprehensive security solution that includes not just professional installation but also monitoring maintenance, and repair services.
We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), Approved Members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.
We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security equipment.
We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre, using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.
We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in the security.
We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law, and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.
We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!