The sheds in our gardens and on the allotment are increasingly being rammed with ever more expensive equipment as we steadily accumulate products to make our gardening tasks that little bit easier. And besides garden essentials such as mowers, tools and ladders, they also contain family items that include bicycles, sun shades and camping kit. And that’s not to mention shelves loaded with precious booze.
We wouldn’t want any of those items to be pinched by unsavoury characters in striped shirts and balaclavas, and nor would we want anyone to load our garden furniture into their van when we’re not looking. It’s therefore vitally important that we take garden security seriously, but other than fixing a padlock on the shed door, we’ve probably not given the subject the serious consideration it deserves.
To help us get a better understanding of how best to secure our precious garden equipment we consulted the experts at security aces Burg-Wächter for some tips…
When it comes to garden security, the first thing that springs to mind is the shed. What are the various locking options we could use to keep the shed safe?
Make sure the shed is properly secured with a strong hasp (the piece of metal that binds the side of the door and the frame together and which is secured by the padlock). For the most secure option it should be made of hardened steel, as should the padlock. There is a choice between using a combination or a keyed padlock. If you use several padlocks around the garden (say on a shed, garage, gate or storage container), it may be useful to have all the padlocks keyed alike. If you want several different people to be able to get into the garden, then a combination lock may be sensible.
For sheds or outhouses, you can also use security lighting and a standalone alarm system, but the first line of defence is a quality hasp and padlock. It’s also important to note that even low value items can be stolen by opportunist thieves. Although not expensive it is annoying to have to replace them and you can seldom get like for like. A visible padlock will help deter the speculative thief and a company like Burg-Wachter has such a big range, it is easy to find a product that suits each situation and your budget.
We’re looking at investing in a new shed soon. Are there certain shed features we should look that makes them less likely to be burgled?
The quality of the shed should match the cost of the equipment and kit that is stored within it. The replacement value of even basic garden spades, forks and hoes can be high. Add a strimmer and lawnmower and the cost of shed contents can easily exceed £1,000. It is this value that makes them a target. Many sheds have light windows and frames which are easy to push in. Always check that the windows are as secure as the door. The door should have good hinges and a strong frame.
One of the most valuable items in the shed is the bike. What’s the best type of lock for a bicycle?
Keeping the frame and the wheels secure is important. Bike wheels and other bike parts are expensive to replace. We recommend a D lock on the frame and a locking cable or security chain for the wheels. Two anchor points are more secure than one. It is best to invest in locks which have been through a quality assessment scheme such as Sold Secure or Secured by Design. More information can be found here.
What other expensive items are worth locking separately and how do you suggest securing them?
Barbeques, chimineas, patio heater, outdoor furniture, sit on lawn mowers or quad bikes are all targets for theft. Luckily, they can all be secured in situ by setting up a security anchor to a solid wall or floor, then using a security cable to link the item to the security anchor.
We also get nervous about anyone pinching our booze, which is currently stacked up on a shelf in the shed. Is there a better way of keeping this extra safe?
It is not just booze! Many people keep brewing equipment or even freezers in a shed or garage. You wouldn’t want either tampered with so keep the area as secure as possible. A padlocked door, a standalone alarm and security lights will all help prevent break ins and protect your valuable wine or beer store!
Are there any unusual things you’ve been asked to provide security for?
Burg-Wächter runs a Secure Communities Scheme that awards free security kits to help lock up property or equipment that is used for communal purposes. Since the pandemic started, the Scheme has focussed on helping communities that needed to increase security due to lockdown. Through this scheme, Burg-Wächter has helped secure a town’s Christmas tree lights, several village halls, scout huts and cricket pavilions, three beehives, two community farms and a collection of allotments! Applications to the scheme are still welcome at www.burg.biz/uk/community
For more information on Burg-Wächter security features visit burg.biz/uk
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