Last edited 07 Oct 2018

Outbuildings security

Thefts from gardens and outbuildings has been on the rise in recent years. Which? reported that between 2012-14, 342 laptops, 387 computers and 447 phones were stolen from sheds in the London area alone. (Ref. https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/shed-theft-home-insurance-valuables/)

An outbuilding can be a greenhouse, garden shed, workshop, and so on. They should all be made as secure as possible to protect from crime. Being a victim of crime can be made worse by being subject to higher insurance premiums. If correct security measures are in place, property owners can benefit from around 5% reduction in premiums.

Some measures to improve security for outbuilding entrances and property boundaries include:

  • Regularly checking for damage and repairing it as soon as possible.
  • Installing an alarm.
  • Installing a CCTV system.
  • Installing external doors with a minimum thickness of 44 mm, with securely-fixed frames.
  • Ensuring the boundary is of an effective height to be secure, e.g. around 2 m high.
  • Increasing fence security with anti-climb paint or 'prickler' strips along the top (these measures will require a warning sign to be visible).
  • Gravel driveways and/or a driveway alarm.
  • Motion sensor lights on a driveway.
  • Filling gaps or extraneous access points with planted trees, a bollard or some other means of blocking.
  • Tall hedges can enhance privacy, but in front gardens they can help to make intruders less visible from the street.
  • Prickly plants under ground floor windows can act as a deterrent.

Some measures to improve security for outbuilding doors and windows include:

  • Securely locking doors with strong padlocks (with Kitemark).
  • Securing door hinges with coach bolts or non-returnable screws.
  • Ensuring that exterior hinges are inaccessible from outside.
  • Perspex or polycarbonate can be used as a more secure alternative material for windows.
  • Net curtains or coloured film can prevent a clear view inside.
  • Checking regularly for wear and tear. Replace rotten timber doors or window frames.
  • If possible, consider using a mortised deadlock midway on the door, with a latch lock above it.

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