Shed and garage security

What do YOU want to protect yourself from?

Theft of your property from your shed (detached garage or outbuilding) or the use of items within to burgle your home.

Such offences are covered by the Theft Act 1968.

A person must enter a building/or part of a building as a trespasser and steal.

It may be that if damage is caused other offences will be considered, including attempts.

As with burglary offences, it is likely that offenders will seek to determine whether:

  • They can get in and out without being caught
  • Anyone is at home or the grounds are overlooked
  • Any security is in place – any locks, alarms, etc.

Does your shed, garage, or outbuilding contain equipment that has a re-sale value (regardless of amount) or might be used to access your home?

Burglars (thieves) know sheds are a weakpoint when it comes to security and often see them as easy targets.

YOU can do something to prevent this from occurring.

By following a few simple steps you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of this kind of burglary.

What can YOU do to reduce the likelihood of it happening to you?

Locks and doors

  • Make sure the shed door is as strong and solid as the main structure
  • Secure door hinges with coach bolts.
  • Fit a closed shackle padlock and bolt it through the door


  • Fix grilles or a mesh to any windows to prevent them from becoming an easy access point for thieves.


  • Install low energy security lights (available at DIY stores) outside that are motion sensored or come on at dusk and go out at dawn

Driveways and paths

  • Consider using gravel on driveways or paths to warn of people approaching or on your property.


  • Ensure all your gates and fences are well maintained.
  • If possible make fences high enough that they are difficult to climb over. You may need to check local planning regulations (most allow approximately two metres of height).
  • Consider whether you could get over and what natural helpers are present, e.g. lamposts or trees.
  • Keep access gates locked at all times.

Items within the shed or garage

  • Whatever you have in your shed/store/garage, the first stage of security is the building itself.  But what if someone gets past that security?  Are you satisfied that the contents are also secured as best they can be? Anything that can be used by criminals should be locked or secured to prevent unauthorised use.  The more difficult you make it for items to be removed the greater the deterrent.
  • Secure items by locking them together or to a ground anchor. Ladders and tools could be used to access your home.
  • Property mark all items to further deter a thief.  Criminals know that marked property is more difficult to dispose of and will link them to an offence if caught.  See our property marking advice.

Remember – A significant part of any deterrent is allowing the criminal to see that you have adopted security measures. 

Defensive planting

  • Plant prickly plants and hedges, such as firethorn, climbing rose or hawthorn along your property’s boundaries or against existing fencing to deter uninvited callers. 
    • Holly - good for hedges - height 6m to 15m
    • Gorse - grows in exposed areas - slow grower - height up to 1.5m
    • Blackthorn - reasonably fast grower - height 6m to 15m 
    • Hawthorn - grows slowly - good for most types of soil - height up to 5m
    • Firethorn (Pyracantha) - good for growing up walls or fences - grows almost anywhere - needs some sun - height up to 4m.

Where can YOU get more help and advice?

To improve your garden and understand plants better take a look at the Royal Horticultural Society web site


Crime Reduction Officer
Devon & Cornwall Police, Crime Reduction Dept
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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