Don’t leave out-buildings without security
Summer house? Bar? Office? Hot tub room? These are all structures that many people are choosing to put in their gardens. The old fashioned shed that housed the lawnmower and garden toys is now becoming something much grander as people take on more ambitious building projects or just want to make better use of their outside space. Programmes such as Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and the annual Shed of the Year competition is testament to this growing trend.
Whatever structure you have on your land, whether it’s a plain old shed or a state of the art garden office you need to consider the appropriate security provision required, just as you would with your home.
Thieves are increasingly targeting out-buildings because they’re less protected than houses and easier to break into without being disturbed. Because of the wide range of purposes that these buildings are being used for, their contents can be extremely attractive to burglars: alcohol in bars, computer equipment in offices, TVs and sound systems in summer houses as well as standard shed items such as bikes, tools and camping gear. These days a good bike can be as expensive as anything you have within your home.
And the very nature of the structures make them vulnerable: they often have basic locks, if they have one at all; some have large windows or glass doors, allowing intruders to see what’s on offer before they attempt to break in; and they’re often a distance from the house, making intruders difficult to see and hear in the night.
Shed security equal to home security
You need to consider your out-building’s security in just the same way you would with your home. A good lock is the minimum security measure you should consider. A certain amount of discipline to make sure the building is locked up at night also goes without saying – all too often this can get overlooked after a day in and out of the garden (or a late night in the bar!).
If the contents are valuable you could consider alarming the building. Door contacts and sensors can be added onto your existing burglar alarm system and isolated so that they can be set even when the house is not.
If you have a CCTV system installed it would definitely be worth positioning a camera on the out-building.
You may think that there’s nothing of any value in your shed so why worry? Unfortunately, sheds can be attractive to intruders for what the contents allow them to do as well as what they can steal. Ladders and tools can be used to help them break into your house and it’s much easier if they can access these on site rather than have to bring these heavy, cumbersome (incriminating) items with them.
Here’s our out-building security check-list to keep your shed, summer house, office, bar or spa safe from break ins:
⇒ Install a good lock on doors and windows
⇒ Ensure that items are put away and doors and windows are locked at night
⇒ Add the building onto your home burglar alarm system and/or CCTV system
⇒ Have blinds or curtains installed so that the contents are not visible through windows and doors
⇒ Ensure that roofing materials are secure as this could be an easier way in than through a door or window
⇒ Install some security lighting triggered by movement/heat
⇒ Where practical, remove valuable items to the house on an evening
⇒ Ensure that access to the garden is secure by locking gates and ensuring there are no gaps in hedges and fences around the perimeter
⇒ Consider an additional lockable cupboard or safe within the building to store valuable items in and make it even more difficult
⇒ Lock up bikes and other expensive items inside the building. Where possible, secure them to something immovable
⇒ Consider gravel around the out-building or on paths that lead to it that may alert you to the sound of someone approaching it
How to make sure your shed is secure
If you would like us to review your security provision and ensure that your out-buildings are as secure as your home then give us a call on 0800 612 9799 (from a landline) or 0345 833 5543 (from a mobile).