How to Secure Your Summer House Against Break-Ins


Summer House

A summer house, a garden shed or just any kind of garden outbuilding can be a target of thieves not only because they want to steal anything stored in there, but more often so because they are looking for tools they can use to break into the main house. So to secure your summer house may be a means to protect your entire home.

But not only thieves may try to break into the shed; sometimes it’s just a homeless person looking for a shelter to spend the night in, or teens on an adventure trip. So some owners don’t lock their summer houses at all. Some even put bottles of drinking water and canned food on the table for the uninvited guests. Needless to say they also don’t store any valuables or tools in there. The idea is that where no break-in happens also nothing will get broken.

If you would prefer to keep unauthorized people out of your summer house, then the good news is: most summerhouses constructed from timber can be secured to a satisfactory level; at least enough to deter thieves from even trying to enter because other targets just are so much easier to break into.

Surveys reveal that still, about one-third of all summer houses are not well secured. Taken into account that many of these also serve as garden storage, party room, garden sauna, garden office or as a garden lounge where valuables like computers, notebooks, tools, stereo equipment and other things are to be expected, this is not a good situation and we want to share some tips how you can make your summer house a little safer.

Summerhouse doors and windows need to be secured

The doors of the summer house have to be one main area of interest if you want to make your shed break-in-proof. It should have a cylinder lock with a safety shield to prevent drilling into the cylinder. The door should have at least 44mm thickness.

If you have double doors, then you should also have security bolts at the first opening leaf that fit into top and bottom rails.

The hinges need to be secured so that the door keeps in place when someone tries to lever it upwards and make sure that the hinge pins can neither be lifted out nor driven through the hinge.

The same applies to the windows: lockable windows with cylinder locks, security bolts, and lever-proof hinges are recommended. In this case, the lock can only be seen from the inside and the burglar might wonder what keeps the windows from giving in. The glass can be treated with a protective foil which makes it unbreakable.

An easy measure with some discouraging effect is to simply fix a custom sized grille on the inside of the window or even just use a piece of strong mesh and fix it with wooden bars over the whole lengths of the window frame. Chances are, that if a thief sees measures like these, he might just give up and go and look for an easier target.

You could also use curtains and close them every time you leave the summer house so that nobody can see what is inside.

Some easy to follow general measures protect the house and the summer house from break-ins

As a matter of fact, there are quite a number of valuable tips to enhance security around your summer house to be found on various websites, like for example the police’s. So this is just a small selection of things that can easily be done:

  • Keep tools locked safely inside the summer house. They might be used to break in.
  • Install outside lighting connected to one or more motion detectors covering the area around the summer house. Keep the electric cables out of reach.
  • Don’t make it obvious, when you are away for more than a day. Random – and programmable timer switches can switch lights on and off as if someone was at home
  • Some lights even mimicry the changing lights of a TV-screen. Such a light could also be programmed by a timer switch
  • If you have valuable things, machines or materials, it’s always a good idea to store them in a strong container or even a safe
  • Try to keep in with your neighbours. Exchanging telephone numbers helps to be informed early on about anything suspicious going on around the summer house

If you still feel insecure, a burglar alarm can sound a loud alarm, or it could be set to a quiet one, just dialling some numbers like your own and the police or a private security company. These alarms can get triggered by vibration – or splinter detectors, and by opening detectors.

Of course, cameras could survey the whole area and videos be recorded. These options get more affordable every day.

But for most cases, the measures mentioned above will provide an effective protection for your summer house, even without more expensive electronic devices.