If you own a single-family home, you may have (or want) a separate backyard storage shed. Many people prefer storing gardening equipment and other large tools in sheds instead of their garages. This clears the space along the walls of the garage, leaving more room to get in and out of cars. For the many Florida homeowners who have no garage, a backyard shed is the only storage option. Storage sheds also allow space that may not be available in a garage for a dedicated workspace, including a work bench. In fact, some people repurpose storage sheds into private office space, because they can provide a private and quiet environment not available within the house. With so many expensive items stored there, shed security is a must.
Thieves Love to Target Sheds
Unfortunately, whatever reason you have for installing a backyard shed, these structures tend to be attractive targets for thieves. They know that many people keep thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment in their sheds. And, that equipment is easy to sell once stolen. Also, thieves know that if the home has a security system, it probably doesn’t provide shed security, as well. And, people tend to install sheds at the back of their property, as far away from the house as possible so it doesn’t interfere with the part of the backyard they use for entertainment and play. In addition, storage sheds are flimsier than homes, and easier to get into.
Tips for Better Shed Security
Here are five steps you can take to increase shed security:
Better Door Hinges and Locks. Security shed hinges and high-quality locks will make it harder for someone to kick in the door of the shed. With a wooden shed, you may be able to install an actual deadbolt into the doorway. Metal or plastic sheds may require hasps and padlocks. If the lock you choose uses a key, make sure it is not easy to pick. If you choose a combination lock, use a combination that will not be easy to guess. Your padlocks should also have shackles that are too thick to easily cut. Of course, locks and hinges are only as good as the doors and doorframes to which they are attached. So, you may want to consider reinforcing those components, as well. If you are not sure which locks are best for your needs, contact a locksmith near you for guidance.
Add an Alarm. If you already have a home security system, it may be feasible to extend that to your shed, especially if your system is wireless. If you don’t have an existing home security system, you can easily install a motion detector alarm that will sound a siren if someone tries to get into your shed. This will alert you and your neighbors, and hopefully, scare away the intruder.
Cover the Windows. It only pays to advertise when you are selling something! Don’t make it easy for people to see what you have stored in your shed. Either install shutters or use a frosted material to block the view from the outside.
Add Motion-Detector Floodlights. Lights are an inexpensive way to alert you if someone approaches your shed. And, they take away the cover of darkness from potential thieves. In fact, it’s a good idea to have these lights all around the perimeter of your home.
Keep a Clear View from the House. It is tempting to hide your shed behind shrubbery, since it may not be so attractive, but resist. Anything that allows people to linger by your shed undetected is a bad idea. Keep your shed looking its best and keep it visible.
Make Sure Your Insurance Covers Your Shed
Because no security measures are foolproof, the possibility always exists that someone will still get into your shed and take things. So, make sure your homeowners insurance covers all structures on your property. In addition, if you have particular items stored in your shed that are very valuable, have these items separately scheduled on your policy. If you don’t, then you may not recoup anywhere near their actual value if they are stolen.