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‘Sheducational’ tips as winter hits

This image shows crime prevention officer Laurence Hands outside of a shed used in crime prevention education

Most people don’t think twice about locking their front door, but the security of sheds and garages can often get forgotten. With winter having well and truly arrived, and many of our bikes, tools, and garden equipment being packed away for the season, now is a good time to check how safe your garden shed is.

Laurence Hands, a crime prevention officer based in Radstock who has 14 years of experience in helping keep our communities safe, shares his top ‘sheducational’ tips:

Lock your shed

“The most common way a burglar gets into a shed is through the door, so make sure it’s locked.” Laurence advises.  “Make it harder for them to get into the garden and shed to start with too, by locking your garden gate.

“There are two different types of shed locks – a ‘close coupled lock’ which means there isn’t much space for someone to cut the padlock off, or a more traditional padlock. As you can see below, the traditional type is much easier to cut and break.

This image shows a standard padlock, which is easier for burglars to cut

A close coupled padlock (left) is harder for burglars to cut than a traditional padlock (right) 

“You can find police-approved products on the Sold Secure website and we ideally recommend using products graded silver or above.”

Consider an alarm

“Another option is to get an alarm. You can get a battery powered alarm with a remote control for under £10, so don’t need to spend a fortune.” Laurence advises. “You just fit it to the back of the shed so the burglar must climb across everything to disable it. It may scare off an offender and it will let you know someone is in your shed.”

This image shows a simple shed alarm attached to the wall of a shedThis image shows the inside of a shed with an alarm installed on the back wall

A simple shed alarm doesn’t have to be expensive but will warn off intruders

Secure your items inside

“And finally, lock your valuable items up within the shed; especially bikes, which burglars will be keen to relieve you of.” Laurence says. “If you have a concrete floor, secure your bikes and valuable items to the floor, as well as to the wall of the shed. And if you can’t do either of those then chain as many items as you can together – this makes it harder for someone to easily pick up and take an item like a bike.

“You can also organise your shed so that valuable items are at the back and much harder to reach. This means the burglar must risk spending more time in the shed and potentially being caught – especially if an alarm is going off inside as well.”

This image shows a bike secured to a shed wall with a bicycle lockThis image shows a blue bicycle chain secured to the interior wall of a garden shed

Securing high value items like bicycles to floors or walls makes them much harder for burglars to steal

Final tip

“It can be hard to know where to start and there are lots of expensive security gadgets out there.” Laurence adds. “So, I suggest focusing on the essentials and even if you just do one thing, you are helping keep your belongings safer.”

Hear more from Laurence here:


Report it

If you suspect a burglary is in progress, call the police on 999.

If your shed has been burgled and you are sure the offender has left the scene you can report it:

·      online:  Report | Avon and Somerset Police

·       by phone – call 101

For more advice on securing garages, sheds and outbuildings visit: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/protecting-your-home-and-property/securing-your-garden-and-outbuildings/