Shed, outbuilding and tool security

Thefts from insecure sheds are common. By the nature of their design, it is difficult to make sheds completely secure, especially if someone is determined to gain access. If you store valuables or tools in them, you should secure these as well!

Shed security

Some simple tips can help make your shed less vulnerable to an opportunist thief:

  • Put your shed somewhere it is visible from your house. Don’t hide it at the bottom of your garden.
  • Illuminate the area around your shed using dusk till dawn lighting.
  • Use good quality security hasp and staples that hide the fixings when closed. Use two (one fitted one-third up and one fitted one-third down the door).
  • Use good quality closed shackle padlocks to reduce the risk of being bolt cropped.  Visit for further information on security tested products.
  • Use coach bolts to secure external hinges and hinge bolts (dog bolts) to help prevent the door from being prized open on the hinge side.
  • Consider fitting bars to windows. You can install a piece of ply board to the inside (using coach bolts to fix it through the shed frame). But if you have your tools secured, it might be better to let a thief see in!
  • Consider fitting a shed alarm but DO NOT rely on them to protect your shed alone. Be aware that insects and rodents could activate the alarm.
  • Consider integrating your shed into your home alarm system, especially if you have valuable items in it. Use door contact sensors and check your glass is secure before installing break glass sensors.


Securing your tools as well as your shed will reduce the risk of theft.  It is likely to deter a burglar if items are difficult to move.

  • Store tools in a locking metal cabinet. Do not use office cabinets as the locks are weak.  Use a good quality closed shackle padlock and secure the cabinet to the shed using strong bolts or heavy duty screws.
  • Secure tools such as spades and garden forks, or lawnmowers and strimmers together with a strong chain and good quality closed shackle padlock.
  • If you have a solid concrete base, use a motorcycle security rated ground anchor to secure the chain.
  • If you do not a have concrete floor, secure the chain using a shed anchor.  See our section on bicycle security for more information about chains, locks and anchors.
  • Mark your power tools and advertise that they are marked.  See more information about property marking and registration.

Plant machinery

In a domestic environment this generally means ride-on lawnmowers and quad bikes etc.

  • Use a suitable length chain (one that does not trail on the floor when securing the vehicle) and a closed shackle padlock to secure the item to a ground anchor set into a sound concrete floor or shed anchor.
  • See our advice on motorcycle security and locks for more information about what to look for and how to use them.
  • Use Sold Secure Motorbike Gold Standard tested products to secure these items (

Property registration and marking

We recommend that you mark and register your property and advertise the fact using window stickers. 

See our property registration and marking page for more details.

Report it

If you have been a victim of a burglary, call 101 or report it online.

If a burglary is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999. 

More help and support

For further advice or recommendations, contact our Crime Prevention Advisors

This contact is for crime prevention advice only.  Please do not use this email address to report crime.  Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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24 May 21 2:37 PM

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