Home Improvement

10 Steps to Secure a Garden Shed

So, you’ve taken every precaution to ensure the safety of your home and family. You’ve installed CCTV, fitted high-quality mortice locks on your sturdy front door, and reinforced your windows. You’re all set, right?

You might be forgetting about one highly vulnerable and surprisingly common target – the garden shed.

Garden shed security is one of the most often overlooked safety measures in our homes. And while your house is well-protected, you’re probably leaving lots of valuable equipment for criminals to help themselves to.

Not to worry – we’re here to help you protect your belongings! In this guide, you’ll find helpful tips on how to secure a shed and keep your items where they belong.

If you:

  • Are planning on installing a new garden shed;
  • Wonder how to make your shed even more secure;
  • Own valuable tools and equipment that you want to protect;

Then read on – this post is just what you need!

1. Choose the right spot

One shed security step that’s often overlooked is the place where you install the shed.

You might think that if your shed is adequately protected, the placement doesn’t matter. But building it in the right spot can prevent a thief from attempting to break in in the first place. Choosing the perfect place for your garden shed can be tricky, but we have some tips to make it easier.

If possible, you should install it in a spot where it can’t be seen from the street or back alleys clearly, but you still have a good view of it from inside your home.

If potential burglars don’t know you have a shed, they’re less likely to come exploring. But if they decide to try their luck anyway, you want to be able to see what’s going on outside. Plus, if they think you can see them, they’ll likely leave your shed alone.

Another thing to pay attention to is any possible entry points. If you can, build your garden shed away from gates and weak fences. You can also boost your garden’s security to make it more difficult for burglars to access your property.

2. Anchor the shed to the ground

An astounding number of bottomless sheds out there are placed on the ground, not attached to anything. This gives burglars an excellent opportunity – they can easily lift the shed off the ground and get access to all that’s inside. They don’t even have to pick a lock!

So, it helps to know how to secure a garden shed to the ground. Not only will it block a thief’s easy access, but it will also prevent your shed from blowing away on extremely windy days. If you want to go one step further, you can attach it to a fence or wall, too.

How you anchor your garden shed to the ground will differ depending on its type and the surface, so here are a few pointers:

  • If you have a wooden shed, you can find different anchoring kits. These often include brackets, bolts, and screws, and can vary depending on the base your shed is sitting on.
  • Metal sheds often don’t have a floor, but they usually come with fixings that you can use to secure the shed to a concrete base.
  • For plastic sheds, your best bet might be to use breeze blocks or other heavy anchors to prevent them from being lifted.
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If you’re installing your garden shed over a concrete base, you can secure it by bolting it down. This is a permanent solution, though, and is best done by setting the bolts into the concrete when it’s poured.

Floor anchors are another shed security measure to consider. It’s a good way to ensure the safety of your larger equipment, such as bikes and lawnmowers. You can install floor anchors on any surface, but they work best on concrete, as they can be ripped out of wood easily.

3. Reinforce the shed’s roof

Another tragically overlooked shed security aspect is the roof. Few people think about it, and yet it’s one of the most commonly used access points. A burglar can just pop it off and help themselves to any of your belongings.

So, if you want to provide another layer of security for your shed, make sure to reinforce the roof.

First off, a sturdy, high-quality roof will be more difficult to remove than a flimsy one. The quality will often depend on the price of the shed, though, so if you’ve opted for a cheaper one, you might need to take some extra precautions.

To secure the roof to the shed, you can use metal brackets or a builders band and screw it to the frame, spacing the screws evenly.

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4. Secure the shed’s door

Doors are another common access point that usually needs heavy reinforcement. This is especially true when it comes to garden sheds. So, here are some tips on how to secure a shed door:

Use longer screws

Shed doors are typically attached to the frame with short, weak screws that can easily be forced out. Your first move should be to replace them with longer, one-way screws. You can also use nuts and bolts, then glue the nut to the bolt on the inside to make the burglar’s job extremely difficult.

Invest in high-security hinges

Shed hinge security is another important aspect – the external ones your shed came with are a fairly high risk. They can easily be unscrewed, and if an intruder can take your door off its hinges, all other security measures are pretty much pointless. Opt for high-security hinges or secure them with coach bolts.

These go through the wood and are secured with a nut and washer on the inside. Plus, you can’t unscrew them from the outside.

Get a reliable lock

If you have a wooden shed, it most likely came with a weak locking system – either a hasp and staple or a tower bolt. Both of these are extremely ineffective when it comes to garden shed security.

Standard shed doors are not very reliable. If you want a high-security shed, you might want to consider a fully framed door. This way, you can fit a high-quality lock type, such as a yale or mortice lock, and really boost the safety of your shed.

If you want to keep the existing mechanism but still improve your shed locks’ security, you’ll need to do a couple of things.

First, replace the weak wood screws that hold the locking mechanism in place. A burglar can easily unscrew these and take the whole lock off the door. Go for coach bolts that can’t be removed from the outside. If you want to go one step further, you can add a metal plate to the back of the door – this will prevent an intruder from cutting the lockout of the wood.

Second, you need to get a high-security padlock, which most likely didn’t come with the shed. This is a blessing in disguise – it would have likely been just as weak as the locking mechanism. When looking for a padlock, it’s best to choose a closed/shrouded shackle padlock. These are very difficult to cut through, unlike the standard padlocks you commonly see on sheds.

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5. Secure the windows as well

Not all outbuildings have windows, but if yours does, shed window security is one of the most important safety aspects to consider.

If your shed’s windows are unprotected, an onlooker can get a full display of all your expensive tools and equipment. So, to make your shed and its contents less enticing, you’ll want to take some extra precautions.

How you secure shed windows depends on the building’s purpose.

If you only use the shed to store tools and equipment, you don’t really need windows at all. The best choice here is to board them up. Thieves won’t be able to see the inside of your shed, and even if they do decide to infiltrate it, they’ll have one less access point available.

If you use your shed as a workshop, you’ll likely want some natural light. In this case, you should reinforce the windows and block the view from outside as much as you can. You have several options here.

  • To obscure your shed windows when you’re not there, consider fitting curtains or blinds and keeping them closed when the shed’s not in use. Another option is to install window shutters and secure them with a sturdy padlock.
  • A security grill won’t block the view on its own, but it will prevent an intruder from coming through the window.
  • High-quality glass can make your shed windows fairly shatter-proof. Consider replacing your single-glazed windows with double-glazed ones, or even shatter-proof laminated glass.
  • Smaller windows are the better choice for garden sheds, as they’re challenging to get in through and showcase less of your shed interior.
  • To obscure the view from the outside while still letting natural light in, you have a few options. You can add reflective film to the inside, which will allow you to see out without onlookers seeing in. Covering the glass with spray-on frosting or an opaque privacy film will block the view in both directions, but let natural light in regardless. Privacy film has the added benefit of preventing the glass from shattering when struck.
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6. Put up security lights

Criminals typically prefer to work under cover of darkness. If your garden is well-lit, it will likely scare off potential intruders. So, consider installing a security light around your shed.

Motion-sensor lights are your best bet, as they will light up a burglar without keeping your garden illuminated all the time. However, you’ll need to think hard about the placement of the lights. Installing them in the wrong place can result in the light going off constantly, triggered by a passing cat, for example. Your neighbours likely won’t appreciate that.

If possible, place the security light on a wall opposite the shed in a difficult-to-reach spot. This will prevent a thief from tampering with it.

7. Install an alarm

If a burglar does try to infiltrate your garden shed, you’ll want to be alerted in more than one way to ensure you don’t miss it. That’s where a shed security alarm can come in handy. Not only will it alert you of an attempted break-in, but it can also scare an intruder and make them flee before they have the chance to take anything.

You don’t need a complicated alarm system in your shed. A simple battery-powered one will do. You can opt for a motion-sensor one that goes off when it detects movement inside the shed, or one that activates when the door is opened. You have a variety of options to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

When choosing an alarm, think about where a burglar is most likely to enter through. If you install an alarm that’s triggered when the door opens, it won’t do much good if the intruder enters through the window or roof. Consider your level of shed security and choose the alarm accordingly.

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8. Get a security camera

Just like lights, cameras are a fantastic shed security measure that works as a burglar deterrent, too.

A motion-sensor security camera will be triggered by movement and start recording. Some models can even send live footage to your smartphone, allowing you to observe the situation in real-time. If the thief manages to snatch some of your belongings, that footage can be used as evidence and help you recover your items.

Dummy security cameras can work just as well as real ones. A burglar will think twice about breaking in and being caught on camera and is likely to leave your property alone. “Experts” can easily spot fakes, though, so make sure you get a good quality one with wiring and an active light.

No matter what security camera you choose, install it in a place where an intruder can’t tamper with it.

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9. Protect your belongings

In case a burglar manages to make off with your valuables, you want to be able to get them back. So, a good shed security practice is to protect your belongings. There are several options here, depending on the value of your items. You can protect expensive equipment with a special security system, trackers, IDs, and other fancy additions.

Another option is to have your tools and equipment engraved. Marking your belongings probably won’t prevent a thief from taking them. However, it will make them far more difficult to sell and boost the chances of you being reunited with them.

Another thing you can do to make a burglar’s job difficult is to keep large items locked together. An intruder is less likely to steal your equipment if they have to haul a bike, lawnmower, and a bunch of other bulky items all at once. Plus, even if they try to detach them from one another, they’ll have a lengthy task on their hands.

Keeping smaller items and tools in lockable cabinets and drawers adds another level of security since a criminal will have to do even more to get to the loot. The more time it takes a burglar to do something, the less likely it is that they’ll go through with it.

Have a read through your household insurance policy. It likely doesn’t cover your garden shed, and even if it does, it might not cover the items inside. If you keep expensive equipment in the shed, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s insured to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

10. Don’t skip out on the garden shed’s maintenance

And finally, a tip that probably goes without saying. It doesn’t matter how many fancy security measures you have – if your shed is in such bad shape that a burglar can just take it apart, then you have a problem. Luckily, you can solve it easily with regular shed maintenance.

Wooden sheds need a fair amount of upkeep, as the wood will start to rot over time if not taken care of. An intruder can easily kick in rotten boards. So, if you see signs of rot on any wooden planks, replace them.

To make things easier, you can prevent the wood from rotting in the first place. If your shed is relatively new and still in good condition, take good care of it. It’s far easier to maintain a shed than to replace a run-down one every few years.

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Why is shed security important?

You might be wondering why you should bother securing your shed in the first place. And there’s a very good reason.

Many of us focus on home security and completely forget about the garden shed. After all, you keep your valuables in your house, right? There’s just one problem – burglars know this very well.

Garden sheds are a reasonably easy target since they’re less secure than your home. Unfortunately, they’re also often filled with expensive tools and items you might not think need protection. Gardening tools, lawnmowers, bicycles – these are all high-profit targets that burglars would love to get their hands on.

Apart from the obvious monetary loss, having your shed burglarised can be an even bigger issue. The tools it contains can help an intruder break into your house, resulting in an even more significant loss and compromised safety.

So, having a few shed security ideas to follow is essential for ensuring your family and your property’s safety.

Need a hand with improving shed security?

If you want to keep your garden shed safe and secure, you can always turn to the experts at Fantastic Services! With our shed installation and repair service, you can rest assured that your outbuilding is installed correctly and kept in excellent shape.

And, should you need help with a shed security boost, the reliable locksmiths we work with can put all your safety concerns to rest!

Need help taking care of your garden shed?

Find a professional to install or secure your shed today!

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  • Garden sheds are a common target for burglars, as they’re often less protected than your home.
  • Choose a good spot for your garden shed – not visible from the street, but visible from inside your home, and difficult for burglars to access.
  • Anchor your shed to the ground to prevent intruders from lifting it and gaining easy access to its contents.
  • The shed roof is a common access point for burglars, so reinforce it and make it difficult to lift.
  • Of course, shed door security should be up to par; reinforce the hinges and locks, or better yet – replace them with high-security ones.
  • Obscure and protect the windows to make your shed less enticing to scoundrels.
  • Security lights and cameras can deter burglars from attempting to break in in the first place. A shed alarm can also alert you of any intruders.
  • Even if your shed is protected, you can go a step further and secure your belongings, too. You can mark your items, lock large power tools and bikes together, and ensure your insurance includes the shed and its contents.
  • Poorly cared for and rotted sheds are extremely vulnerable – keep on top of maintenance.


We hope you found our shed security tips and tricks helpful. If you have any questions, or maybe your own tips on improving shed security, share them in the comments!

Image source: Shutterstock / Stephen Plaster

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