We all put a lot of effort into securing our homes, but many forget to give equal attention to outbuildings.
Whether you use your outbuilding like a traditionalist, for tools and garden furniture, or like many these days as an extension of your home in the form of a games room, gym, or a bar, it more than likely has a high contents value.
Dr Steffan George, development director of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA ), highlights common security flaws and tells us how to avoid them:
When it comes to protecting your outbuildings, buying good quality, strong locks, and bolts is an investment. The first place to start with is the door. Attach mortice security bolts to the top and bottom, ensuring they are well fitted so that they cannot be ripped away from the timber. If your shed door is too small and thin for a mortice lock, it is vital to invest in a good hasp, staple, and padlock.
Pay attention to door hinges, ensuring thieves cannot easily remove them and take the door off that way. Fitting a pair of hinge bolts to each leaf should hold the door in place if someone tries to break the hinges.
If your shed has windows, ensure they are fitted with working locks. Extra security measures include grilles and welded mesh sheeting which can be fitted on the inside, and netting or reflective sheeting which can be used to stop a potential thief from seeing objects inside.
Additional security can be added inside the shed so that the highest value contents are protected. For things like power tools you can get steel containers fixed securely to the floor. Consider adding ground anchors to chain objects inside the shed too and padlocking them to the floor.
In addition to window and door security, consider installing alarms, outdoor security lighting, and CCTV systems.
Security products independently tested for outbuildings can be found at www.soldsecure.com and an MLA approved locksmith can help advise what grade of security you need. Follow @MLA_locksmiths on Twitter or check it out on Facebook.