Secure Your Shed:
Protecting Your Bike from Thieves – According to the Office of National Statistics, ‘opportunistic’ thefts from household areas such as sheds rose by approximately 16% between 2007 and 2012. Such a rise highlights that although we may be conscientious about securing our homes, outbuildings and sheds can be easily forgotten… despite the fact that many of us keep essential and costly items inside them!
Unfortunately, once summer’s over, sheds become doubly vulnerable to determined thieves or burglars due to that costly item that many of us keep in sheds over winter… our bicycles.
Firstly, thieves know that bicycles which may have served you well getting around during the summer are often designated to the garden shed in colder months, as owners take to the car and public transport for commuting, whilst there’s much less cycling for pleasure and recreation once the weather turns wet and chilly.
And secondly? Thieves know well that a shiny new bicycle is often the gift of choice for children at Christmas… and where do parents choose to hide the gift out of sight, ready for the big day? The garden shed, of course! So what can you do to protect bicycles stored in garden sheds over winter? Secure your shed
“Most thefts from sheds are opportunistic, so a secure shed means a thief will have to work hard to break into it, something they’re likely to be reluctant to do.” – Alex Murray, Safe Site Facilities, very basic steps to securing your shed can include:
Covering shed windows so that thieves can’t see inside.
The most basic option is to use a curtain or spray-on glass frosting.
The next step up would be to use reflective or opaque film, which works well both for preventing thieves from looking in but also by preventing glass from shattering if thieves attempt to smash their way in. By ‘holding’ the shattered glass in place, the film makes it more difficult for thieves to gain access this way … and anything that makes gaining entry more difficult is a useful deterrent.
The ultimate security comes by fitting a mesh or grille on the inside of any windows.
Adding sturdy locks to shed doors and any windows that open. The locks supplied with sheds are usually very basic, so replace these with stronger locks when erecting your shed or as soon as possible afterwards. Add hasps and padlocks for additional security.
Secure hinges – any T shaped hinges which are screw-fixed could be unscrewed by thieves who could then access through the door that way, despite any padlocks on the lock! Replacing the screws with coach bolts adds security to the hinged side.
Good shed maintenance, so there are no loose boards which could be pulled off or pushed in to gain entry. Chain or padlock your bike inside the shed too. It’s always useful to do this for tools as well so that these can’t be used to gain access to other parts of your property, such as your home. Of course, those are just the basics. If your shed is set away from the house, an opportunist thief might well still attempt to break in, because they’ll be sure that you’re tucked away indoors and won’t be alerted to their efforts. If this is the case for you, then anything which can alert you, your neighbours or passersby to attempted break-in could help. Increase your security by becoming alarmed,
Trials in Aberdeen have shown that installing even a basic alarm to sheds and outbuildings has reduced shed break-ins by approximately 72%, so purchasing a suitable alarm may well be a good solution to keeping bikes safe. If your shed is actually out of sight of your house, the audible alert of an alarm is essential.
Be alerted to any approach Additionally, sound can be used in other ways, such as by alerting you or others that someone is approaching your shed: Using gravel for paths or as part of the access area to your shed means thieves will inadvertently make a noisy crunch on their approach. Fitting a motion-activated light over a shed door can act as a good deterrent for would-be thieves, who certainly won’t want to be in the spotlight whilst they attempt to break in. This is especially useful during those long, dark winter evenings. Plant ahead for winter by including prickly bushes around any area that a thief might use to access your garden. A painful landing on a prickly bush can act as an alert for you and a deterrent to a thief.
Finally, consider how your use and storage of your bike is visible to those around you. If you can easily be seen taking your bike in and out of your shed, you will definitely need to ensure that your shed is as secure as you can possibly make it, particularly if your bike is a valuable one, to help make your shed a safe one over winter. Article created by – Alex Murray Safe Site Facilities