Are you worried about the valuable items in your garden shed? Are you looking for some shed security tips to keep your belongings safe from potential burglars?
Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you already have your shed purchased, built, and situated in its final resting place in your backyard or garage. Now it’s time to secure it to keep it safe from would-be thieves or vandals who might want to do you harm (or at least steal some tools). In this guide, we have rounded up 20 shed security ideas, from fitting an alarm system to simply checking the door hinge. So, whether you are planning to install security cameras to help deter criminals or are just looking for some simple tips like keeping everything locked up safely after use, here’s everything homeowners need to know about securing garden sheds and everything in them.
Table of Contents
Top 20 Shed Security Tips in 2022
Let’s dive straight in and cover some simple and effective ways to make your shed less attractive to potential burglars. We’ve got 20 great tips below, many of which won’t require you to buy any expensive, specialist equipment.
1. Cover the windows
Installing curtains on your garden shed windows is an inexpensive way to protect your valuables from prying eyes. It’s all too easy for thieves to spot an opportunity if they get their eye on something valuable in the window. So, covering them with curtains, or even pinning up an old sheet, is a quick and simple way to make it less obvious that there could be something worth stealing.
Another excellent alternative is glass security film. This can help obscure the windows so thieves can’t see inside easily, and they also offer protection against the glass shattering if thieves do decide to try and smash in the window.
To further help secure your windows, you might like to consider installing window bars. These can help obscure the view a little, but their main aim is to protect the windows – breaking them will be very difficult when they are covered by metal bars!
2. Fit an alarm
Fitting an alarm system is one of the best ways to stop thieves in their tracks – they are almost guaranteed to flee as fast as they can when they hear the alarm wailing! Many alarms also have flashing lights that will start when they are triggered.
An integral part of any home security system, an alarm can be fitted in such a way that you will instantly be alerted if anyone is tampering with the shed door. They use motion sensors to detect unwanted visitors, and you can use the control panel to deactivate the alarm so you can get into the shed yourself.
Some more advanced alarm systems can also alert the police when they are triggered. This might be worth considering if you live in a particularly risky area or have very high-value items stored in your shed.
3. Use a strong door lock
Securing the door might sound simple, but it’s surprising how many burglaries are carried out simply by walking in through an unlocked door!
Visit your local hardware store to purchase a strong lock for your shed to reduce the chance of theft. A burglar is sure to be deterred if he sees robust locks on the door rather than flimsy padlocks that can be cracked open with bolt cutters.
If you do choose to use padlocks to secure your shed, it’s best to opt for the closed-shackle type. These are much harder to break in to with saws or bolt cutters, thanks to their design. If you’re looking for door locks, make sure you opt for a heavy-duty model so it can’t easily be picked.
It goes without saying, but make sure the door is locked when you are finished in the shed, too. It’s all too easy to get sidetracked and walk away and leave the door wide open all night! Taking care to double-check everything is securely locked when you are finished is a simple yet effective way to reduce the chance of anything being stolen.
4. Install security cameras
Perhaps the best way to upgrade your shed’s security is to install a camera so you can keep an eye on things when you are away from home. You’ll also be able to watch the footage back if there have been any intruders – ideal for ensuring the person is caught quickly as the police will be able to identify them.
Often, things won’t get that far, though. Most of the time, the sight of a camera is enough to deter criminals. So, if you don’t want to fork out for a complete security system, even a decoy camera can often be enough to do the trick. Look for one with an ‘active’ light to ensure it looks the part.
There are many camera systems available to choose from, so you might need to shop around to find one that is suitable for your needs. Many can connect to your smartphone, allowing you to receive alerts when motion is detected around your shed, so you can instantly see what is going on and check your belongings are safe.
5. Make sure it’s well-lit
No criminal wants to be seen when they’re in the middle of a robbery! So, installing a security light is a great way to deter thieves before they even try to break in to your shed. You can either ensure the area around the shed is well-lit all the time or opt for a motion-activated light. The latter will illuminate when motion is detected around the area, so you can easily see if someone might be lurking.
Security lights can also be helpful when it comes to getting things in or out of the shed when it’s dark outside. There are usually a lot of things in and around the shed that can cause injuries, so it’s always useful to make sure the area is well-lit.
6. Choose a good location
Many sheds sit away in a corner of the yard, far from the house. This can make it all too easy for potential burglars to sneak around without being seen.
So, instead, try to set up your shed where it can be seen from the main property. Also try to ensure it is surrounded by natural light, rather than in a dark, shaded corner. This will make it more difficult for a would-be thief to gain access unnoticed. If the shed is already positioned far from your house, see the tips above regarding motion-activated lighting.
You could also make sure the motion-activated lights from your home reach towards the shed – ensuring the entire yard is illuminated if movement is detected is sure to be a strong deterrent to a burglar.
7. Watch out for loose hinges on the shed door
The door hinge is one of the weakest points of your shed. Even if you have reinforced everything else and have a solid wood door, thieves could still remove the hinge’s screws and remove it to gain access. That’s because many hinges are attached by cheap, short screws that can be forced off with relative ease.
To make a thief’s job harder and prevent your belongings from being stolen, upgraded hinges are a must. Ensure you choose a tamper-proof option to make sure your doors remain strong and don’t provide thieves with an easy access point.
Consider using carriage bolts rather than a cheaper alternative such as the mounting screws that come with your hinge. Carriage bolts have flat, smooth heads so it is almost impossible to remove them from the outside of your shed using tools.
8. Secure the shed to the ground with floor anchors
It might sound extreme, but smaller, flimsy sheds can actually be completely lifted from the ground by a couple of strong thieves. So, taking steps to secure your shed can add extra security and keep your things safe. Chances might seem slim, but you’d be surprised how often this happens.
Consider filling the shed with heavy items to make it too heavy to lift. If necessary, you can also use breeze blocks to add extra weight if the items inside your shed are not heavy enough on their own.
There are also a few devices you can use to anchor your shed to the ground and prevent thieves from lifting it to take items from inside. Dedicated floor anchors are ideal for a wooden shed, and can even be connected to concrete floors. L-brackets are ideal to use as an anchor – simply attach one end to the shed wall and the other to the ground.
9. Lock up tools overnight
It might seem obvious, but leaving valuable items like garden tools, bikes, and power tools lying around makes them extremely susceptible to theft.
It’s all too easy to leave valuables like these lying around. You might be enjoying a spot of gardenging in your spare time only to be distracted by a phone call or a surprise visitor only to realize the following day that you left your tools outside.
Many of us leave tools around outside our garden sheds, but taking time to ensure everything is secure inside your shed at the end of the day is a simple and free way to greatly reduce the chances of anything being stolen. A burglar will always look for the easiest opportunity, so by making your bikes and tools harder to get to, you will deter thieves from even trying to steal them.
10. Check the roof is strong enough
You might be surprised how many break-ins take place through the roof, but this is often the weak point of the shed. Many sheds have plastic roofs to allow natural light into the shed. However, unfortunately, these are very easy to break in to for well-practiced thieves.
You should also look out for any leaky or rotten patches on the roof. This suggests that there is a weakness at that point, which could mean a thief could pry their way in more easily.
Some repair jobs are small and, if you have a little DIY know-how, you can find tutorials online that will help you fix up the hole in no time. Alternatively, if you aren’t confident with repair jobs, you can call in a professional who will take care of it for yo. In either case, it’s best to get the damage repaired as quickly as possible so your belongs are not at risk.
11. Consider a guard dog
Dogs are like security experts! A well-trained pup could be the best form of security for not only your shed, but also your house. If your dog barks whenever someone rings the doorbell or even comes into your yard, you’re sorted! Breeds such as the doberman, German shepherd, rottweiler, and Rhodesian ridgeback are excellent choices if you are looking for a guard dog.
Many homeowners also put up a sign bearing the message ‘beware of the dog’ in order to scare away an intruder before they even think about touching their property. Whether or not you have a pet pup, this is a cheap and simple measure that you might like to consider. It might not be as effective as alternative measures, but it could be worth a try if you don’t want to install a security system.
12. Choose plants carefully
Carefully positioned plants can help deter thieves and are a great option if you are on a limited budget. How does this work? Planting some spiky plants around potential access points can make it a lot harder for a thief to get in.
However, it’s important not to completely surround your shed with hedges – this can actually have the opposite effect. A tall, dark hedge at the back of your shed can give burglars the cover they need to sneak around unnoticed.
13. Replace rotten wood
Most break-ins occur using a weak point in wooden sheds, whether that’s the door frame, the roof, an easily-smashed window, or, commonly, the shed door. If you notice any rotting wood or rusting metal on your shed, it is a good idea to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Any part of your shed that is rotting will be a lot weaker, meaning a thief could easily kick it in with little effort if they got their eye on something inside. Wooden planks can be replaced with relative ease, so there’s no need to worry if you notice anything like this happening on your shed. However, you can always call in a professional to fix it – replacing broken parts won’t take them long.
To stop wood from rotting on your shed, it’s important to treat it regularly with a wood preserver. If you do notice any cracks appearing, try filling them straight away with caulking or expanding foam. Check the packaging of your chosen product to see how often you will need to repaint the wood.
14. Consider a shed security bar
We’ve already touched on a few ways to make sure your garden shed has a secure door – from checking the hinges to simply ensuring it is locked up at the end of the day.
However, if you want to take things a step further, you might like to consider investing in a security bar to reinforce the door even more. Thieves won’t be able to use bolt cutters to break through one of these like they might be able to with a padlock.
This is a relatively inexpensive and simple security measure but one that can be highly effective – just make sure the bar is securely in place when you are finished using your shed.
15. Take out an insurance policy
No matter how hard you try, sometimes a thief will have the right tools and can gain access to your shed. While we’ve given some suggestions on how to avoid this happening in the first place, sometimes, the worst can happen even if you have the best shed security measures in place.
That’s why it’s always worth taking out a home insurance policy – and make sure it covers your shed and its contents. If you already have home insurance, it’s worth calling your insurance agent to make sure you have the level of cover you require.
In many cases, you can customize your insurance policy to make sure you will be able to claim the full value of your items should the worst happen so you don’t have to worry. If you also have a security system such as an alarm and cameras installed, you might find your quote is cheaper, so it’s worth checking this, too.
16. Disguise Your Shed Add a CCTV Camera
A shed without doors or windows presents a clear target for potential intruders, so make sure yours looks like a part of your property. This can be done by painting it in neutral colors that match your home’s exterior and landscaping around it so that you don’t notice its presence right away. Adding plants and shrubs also helps conceal it. Don’t forget to lock any windows or skylights you may have installed on your shed. If you live in an area where thefts from sheds are common, consider installing cameras as well; these will help deter theft since burglars are less likely to try entering when they know there are security cameras watching them. Finally, consider installing an alarm system too. It won’t do much good if thieves learn how to break into your shed through some other means but will alert you if someone does get inside anyway.
17. Add a CCTV Camera
A CCTV camera can help deter thieves from stealing anything out of your shed. You can put it up inside your shed or outside on a wall or fence so that you know what is going on at all times. These cameras aren’t overly expensive, either, and they are incredibly easy to install. Try putting one above your shed door or near where you keep important tools like your lawnmower or chainsaw. If someone tries to break into your shed while you’re not home, you might be able to catch them on tape and hold them accountable if they do steal something!
18. Consider Installing an Electronic Fence
If you want an added layer of security and can afford it, consider installing an electronic fence. These systems use low-level electrical pulses that keep dogs from leaving your property without permission. Many models come with radio receivers for pets who are trained not to leave home, so that they don’t get shocked unnecessarily. They also employ sensors—like motion detectors or metal plates buried under ground—that let you know when someone has entered your property illegally. And while they’re more expensive than other solutions (costing hundreds of dollars), they offer peace of mind and flexibility, since they come with remote controls so you can let family members, friends and delivery people into your yard even if you aren’t there.
19. Close Off Access Points Security signs
Sheds typically have at least one door and can have several. Obviously, you want to ensure that all of these entry points are locked when you’re not using them. While you could go with only one or two locks, it makes sense to use as many different locks as possible so they’re harder for someone to break through. The more locks you install, however, also means more keys! So consider investing in some high-security locks with advanced features such as fingerprint readers or security codes. Also keep in mind that by securing your shed, you don’t just protect what’s inside; you prevent burglars from using your shed as their own secret storage unit—which may be even worse than stealing your stuff!
20. Security signs
You could secure your shed by putting up one or more security signs and/or buying (or making) warning signs that will deter thieves. These should be visible from all sides of your property, if possible. It’s also helpful to give these signs a professional look (perhaps by taking them to a print shop or publishing them at home). Keep in mind that any thief willing to steal from you will probably not care about any sign you put up, but hopefully it’ll keep honest people from messing with your stuff. Also, never store anything valuable inside your shed without securing it somehow.
We hope these top tips have been useful in helping you improve your shed security. No matter how much money you have available, there is sure to be something you can do to help secure your shed. From installing top-of-the-rage alarm systems to ensuring your shed is well-lit, there are plenty of measures big and small to help ensure your stuff is safe in your shed.
You should try to protect your shed with the same level of security as your house if possible, particularly if you have very high-value items stored inside. Check your shed regularly to ensure everything is in good condition – replace damaged wood or hinges straight away.
More Security Articles and Guides to keeping your shed and home safe: