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Sheds

Are Sheds Easy to Break Into

By  Enda McLarnon

In many back gardens and yards up and down the United Kingdom, you will see the typical garden shed. People use sheds for a variety of reasons. Some people store their garden tools, some keep bikes and toys in there, and some people even use them as a home office.

There are many reasons why people have a garden shed and a question we get asked a lot is a garden shed easy to break into? Garden sheds can be made from wood, plastic or metal. Metal sheds are probably the most secure, plastic sheds are the next more secure and wooden sheds are the least safe.

Generally speaking, most garden sheds are easy to break into as they are typically unattended, have several weak points and often hidden from view, in remote parts of the garden or yard.

According to the Daily Mirror, a survey of police forces in England & Wales from 2014-2018 showed that 60 sheds a day are broken into. On average that is around 22,500 burglaries a year.

What do thieves steal from sheds?

The same survey shows that thieves tend to steal bikes, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and drills. That said, they will just about steal anything. Most of this type of theft is known as opportunity theft.

Most burglars look for an easy opportunity and will steal what they can easily take with them. Clearly they will go for the most expensive items that are the easiest to sell on.

Some are more sophisticated and will come prepared with a can or trailer to steal larger items like bikes, mowers, power tools and anything of bulk and value.

How do people protect their sheds?

We have included a quick table below showing what people typically do to help secure their sheds.

Safety Measure

Percentage

Using a padlock

68%

Outdoor Sensor Lighting

46%

Outdoor Alarms

16%

Anti-tamper screws

13%

No security

17%

The reality is that it is actually very cheap to do a few things that make breaking into your shed a great deal harder. We have completed an article on how to make your shed secure, which you can read by clicking here.

What are the weak security parts of a  shed?

Out of Sight = Out of Mind

We have busy lives, and let's be honest, the garden shed is for most people a very low priority. It was either already there when we moved in, or we bought one to hold a few items.

The location of most sheds will be at the back of the garden. That means they are not something we have in our thoughts. During the Winter months they are seldom used and they will get 

The Shed Door

The biggest weak point in a shed is the door. Around 17% of people don't have any type of lock on the door so a super easy target for a thief. 68% of people have a padlock which is better, but those are usually used in a latch system which can be screwed or pried off the door.

The Door Hinges

Most hinges used on shed doors are simple T-hinges. They are cheap and easy to attach. They are however very weak in terms of security. That is because they use a simple pin and hinge system. The pins are easy to tap out and the door can quickly be removed from the hinges.

In addition to that, these hinges are normally screwed on with wood screws and these of course are easily removed with a screwdriver.

The Shed Windows

Most shed windows are nothing more than a single piece of glass. Potential thieves can easily look through these and see if there is anything worth taking. The windows are also easy to break and climb through, and can often be out of sight making access easier.

Which type of shed is the most secure?

A metal shed is the most secure shed. Metal sheds have secure cylinder locking systems, with stainless steel butt hinges and typically use high up narrow fan light style windows.

Plastic and wooden sheds tend to use more basic hinges and reply on padlocks to deter burglars.

How do you keep thieves from breaking into your shed?

We have completed an article on how to make your shed secure, which you can read by clicking here.

However we have provided below some simple affordable tips that will certainly help make your shed as secure as it can be. What you are trying to do is deter thieves and just make it as hard as possible. You can never make it 100% burglar proof, but you can most certainly make it more bother than it is worth for them.

Padlocks

Fitting a padlock on your door is really the fastest and simplest thing to do. You buy an outdoor padlock and attach it to the latch on the shed door. To get in they will have to find a way around that first.

Buy a suitable padlock that is weatherproof with a tough shank that is difficult to cut. We have done a full article on the best padlocks for sheds which you can read by clicking here.

We also discuss the various types of locks that you can use for your shed in that article.

Change Screws to Coach Bolts

Removing screws is easy, either with a screwdriver or using a pry bar to rip them out. If you replace these on door latches and hinges with coach bolts, they are a lot harder to remove.

Coach bolts are not expensive and on the outside just look like a round head so difficult to remove. They are much stronger than screws and a great deal harder to remove as they are bolted in on the inside.

Alarms & Lighting

Shed alarms and sensor lighting is very affordable and extremely easy to install and set up. This is probably one of the best security options available on the market. The majority of burglaries take place at night under the cover of darkness.

Audible alarms and lighting will frighten away almost every type of burglar and are highly effective. We have completed a full article on shed alarms which you can read by clicking here.

Window Security

Most people will not want to go to the expense of replacing a window in their shed. The main reason they are there is to help provide some degree of natural daylight.

What we would recommend doing is adding a window privacy feature which you can buy and attach to the window. You can see out but nosey burglars can't see what is inside your shed.

You should of course make sure your windows are always closed unless you are working in the shed.

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