Lots of us choose to use our garden shed as a sanctuary, a place to get away from a busy house, a place to relax with a cup of coffee and a good book, or as a place to store important items and expensive tools. We can even design our shed to look like a mini home, full of our personalities and belongings.

Considering we are using our sheds more and more, you could think about adding modern technology aspects to it to make it even more characteristic. Electrical heat tracing is one idea, installing Wi-Fi is another one and you could even install a TV to ensure you can properly relax when you’re there. But, is your shed up to the job of keeping expensive tools and equipment safe?

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Before you start researching the locks and alarms you can use for your garden shed, inspect the building structure itself. Is the roof in good shape, without any damage? Thieves have been known to lift off and break into a flimsy roof to get at tools inside.

Make sure the shed door is in a suitable and decent condition – there’s no point altering or strengthening hinges and fitting padlocks if it’s easy enough to kick in a rotting door panel.

Use clutch-head screws or coach screws on the shed door hinges and on the hasp and latch – these types of screws can’t be easily unscrewed. Fit two padlocks on the door: it could be a good idea to fit one about a third of the way down from the top, the other a similar distance from the bottom of the door.

Choose strong padlocks to make the shed door more secure – a big, strong looking padlock could deter potential break-ins.

If your shed has a window, make it harder for thieves to find out what’s inside by obscuring it – cover it on the inside with bubble wrap, fleece, an old net curtain or even a black waste bag. Fit laminated glass in the window – as it is harder to break – or fit security mesh across the outside.

If someone does manage to get into the shed, make it hard for them to carry off equipment such as lawnmowers and chainsaws. Use heavy-duty chains and a padlock to link items together: a lawnmower, a heavy barbecue and a bundle of garden chairs chained together will be awkward – if not impossible – to drag away.

Does your garden shed have a concrete base? You could install bolts and use a chain and padlock to secure equipment stored in your shed.

Always put away tools, equipment and bikes – basically anything of any substantial enough value – when you aren’t using them. Be aware that burglars may find some garden tools handy for breaking into the house.

Mark equipment with your postcode – use a UV pen, paint the details on or scratch them onto metal handles.

In summer it can be a pain to have to put garden furniture every night – check whether your insurance policy covers items left out in the garden.

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