Backyard or garden sheds have a lot of benefits. They give you a nice, separate space to keep items you don’t use that often, which reduces the mess and hoard-factor of your house. You can also use them to keep things you don’t want in the main house, like garden tools, outdoor toys, sporting equipment, and even soiled gumboots.
Sheds can also offer a quiet hideaway when you want some alone time to work on a project, entertain loud guests, or escape activities in your home. But sometimes, a shed can be a beacon for criminal elements. They know you probably have some good stuff in there, and since it’s far from the house, they know you won’t hear them.
8 Tips to Keep Safe Your Garden Shade
Location location location
The position of your garden shed can be an aid or a deterrent to thieves. Most sheds are installed in the back yard, and this helps because it means the shed can’t easily be viewed from the street. Of course, this can also work against you, because if anyone is up to mischief, they can’t be spotted by neighbours or passersby.
While you’re choosing where to put your shed, place it somewhere you can easily see while you’re inside the house. This helps when you want to spot potential thieves, but it can also help you supervise your teens when they’re using the shed for teenage escapades.
Build a solid shed
The material that you need to construct your shed doesn’t just help its beauty and longevity. It can affect the shed’s security as well. You want to use materials that can withstand weather as well as human mischief. Use solid wood, prefab construction, or strong galvanised metal. You want to make it as hard as possible for thugs to tear down your shed walls.
Pay special attention to the windows, doors, and hinges, since this is probably what criminals will use to access the shed. Check those door mechanisms can’t easily be unscrewed, and that the door is hard to kick down. Shatterproof windows can be helpful too.
Make sure it’s lockable
You might not think your shed needs locking, especially if your toolset isn’t that expensive. But keep in mind that thugs don’t know the value inside your shed, and they won’t know until they break in. Once they do, even if they don’t take anything, you will feel vulnerable, exposed, and violated.
Use large, visible locks on your shed, whether it’s a massive bolt or a heavy padlock. Anything thieves will spot at a glance. It will make them abandon their thieving project and find an easier target. And once you install your locks, don’t forget to actually use them.
Lock things on the inside too
It’s not enough to just keep the door and windows locked since thugs could find other ways to get into the shed. They might break the glass, by-passing your lockdown altogether. Or they might blow a hole in the wall.
Lock individual items inside the shed as well. Lock up your toolbox and secure it to the shelf or floor. Lock your bicycle and your other tools and equipment, tying them to security poles. Make it harder to steal, so that your intruders will give up and leave.
Let there be light
Many shed owners will advise you to avoid lighting your shed at night since this will attract bugs and other pests. There’s wisdom in this because certain unwanted organisms are easily drawn in by bright shiny lights. There are other ways to use light for security though.
The best kind of security lamp is one that uses motion sensors. The shed will stay dark most of the time, losing the interest of annoying pests. But if a sufficiently large animal or human intruder approaches the shed, the light will flash on, catching them in the act.
Secure the shed itself
If you’ve already put secure locks outside and inside the shed, you might wonder what else you can do to keep your shed safe. Well, if you have guard dogs, they can help prevent unwanted night time visitors. Place your kennels near the shed as an added deterrent.
You might also construct a fence around the shed. It increases privacy and makes it more challenging to gain access. The shed can even have its own lockable gate so that thugs will think twice before investing the time and effort of getting into your shed.
Hide the ladder
A lot of homeowners leave their ladders outside the shed. After all, it’s too large to fit inside, and you probably don’t think anyone would want to steal one. Well, the value of a ladder isn’t in its own existence. It’s more about the access it provides. A ladder can help a thug get into your main house, or one of your neighbours.
Leaving your ladder in the open gives unsavoury types an excuse to access your shed, and consequently, your home. It also puts surrounding homes at risk, so consider replacing your bulky ladder with a collapsible one that you can lock inside your garden shed.
Use a shed alarm
As a final touch to all your security measures, install an alarm. It will warn you against attempts to enter your garden shed, and after it’s gone off a few times, it will warn off any potential outsiders. Get the right alarm though, or it will wake you every few minutes when it’s tripped by a squirrel, a gecko, or a mouse.