Garden workshops and sheds are well-used objects both by gardeners and homeowners and with the lighter evenings coming these sheds were being used more and more. Inside you will find your garden tools, the barbecue (maybe a little early yet), garden tables and garden chairs. Besides this there will be maybe loads of old tins of paint, old bits and pieces – saved ‘just in case’ and numerous spiders who have decided the garden shed makes a good home.
The fact that our storage sheds are full of useful items also makes them targets for the less savoury characters of our society who see the shed as easy prey. Even though the nights are getting lighter these garden sheds are still at risk when you are out during the day so you need to take steps to protect your shed from these nasty people.
Even basic precautions can help such as ensuring the garden shed is locked and the shed windows shaded from inside so the contents are not visible. Ideally, you should have a hasp and staple on the shed door onto which you can put a strong padlock. The hasp and staple should be the fold over type and secured with a nut and bolt through the shed door frame. The shed hinges are normally screwed on using screws (surprisingly!!) Which even with a strong padlock can be unscrewed and access gained to the shed that way. It will only take a few minutes to remove one screw from each shed door hinge and replace it with a nut and bolt. Use a large washer on the inside and this will stop this happening ensuring your valuable items stay safe in your shed.
The same advice applies to any allotment sheds you may have as this applies equally to them and in Essex, these people were offering free shed alarms. Essex Police offered allotment holders in Tendring these shed alarms free of charge in their fight against shed related crime. This scheme was similar to Neighbourhood watch and was free to join and members receive information and advice about incidents to any sheds.
Paul Teague, the Essex Watch administrator, said that residents need to be more vigilant as it’s getting to that time of the year, with the warmer weather on the horizon, when people are getting back onto the allotment and opening up the garden workshops. Expensive gardening equipment needs to be adequately secured and should not be left on lonely allotments during the quiet winter time. However, the garden shed alarms are a great deterrent to a thief and are a cinch to install.
Other advice given by the Essex Police was to invest in a quality padlock for the garden shed door, as I’ve already suggested, and to mark valuable items with a UV pen to make it easier for any items stolen to be identified if recovered.