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Is your garden shed secure?
Totting up the value of everything in my garden shed this week, I was amazed at how much it came to. There are the big items like a mower, shredder and pressure washer, then all the smaller things from forks and spades to secateurs, greenhouse heaters, netting, cloches, and much, much more. (I’ve shared shameful pictures of the state of my shed before on this blog, so some of you will already have an idea of where I’m coming from).
So, just how secure is my shed? Well, it is at the far end of my garden, and out of sight of the road or passers-by. Access to my garden is via gates on either side of my house, and both are locked and secure.
However, the door to the shed itself remains shut but not locked!
I feel an Easter job coming on … to fully secure my shed and so deter anyone from getting in. The problem is that if anyone was really intent on gaining access at all cost I’m sure that even a padlock would stop them. Most sheds are quite flimsy structures after all, and if you didn’t care about doing serious damage to the structure you could break in with a crow bar or other tools.
I’ve heard the argument in the past that it’s sometimes better to leave sheds unlocked and risk having items taken than lock them only to have the structure seriously damaged during a break in.
What’s the answer? Don’t leave valuables in your shed? So where else can they go? I’d always recommend making your garden as secure as possible by locking gates and putting up fences and walls. Police often recommend planting thorny hedges around the perimeter, and while this may not be ideal in all situations it’s worth considering.
I also have several outdoor lights activated by movement detectors, and these are a useful deterrent. You can also buy shed alarms that go off if doors are opened. Of course these rely on someone actually responding to the alarm if you don’t hear it yourself, but they could scare off burglars before they have a chance to take anything.
And, of course, there’s always the dog. I don’t own a dangerous breed, but Magic (my black poodle) sounds ferocious, even if she would only try and lick you to death should you get close!
I haven’t investigated where I stand on the insurance front, and whether tools in my shed are covered, or whether the insurance policy states that the shed must be locked. Yes, another job for the weekend, to get out my content insurance policy and read the small print. What fun that will be…