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More security for the shed

More security for the shed

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dcosta09/07/2021 15:10:10
496 forum posts
207 photos


Need help to improve security in the shed.

dcosta09/07/2021 15:11:12
496 forum posts
207 photos


I apologize for the topic that is not exactly suitable for the forum. I'm Portuguese, I live in Portugal and I'm going to move house but, in the new house, the shed becoming more exposed forces me to install a perimeter alarm around the house and shed. I found on Amazon a kind of almost peripheral alarm but, as I don't know anything about it and before I spend hard earned money, I would like to know if there is any fellow in the forum who knows something about that alarm, directly or indirectly. "Hosmart Rechargable 1/2 Mile Long Range Wireless Driveway Alarm System Outdoor Weatherproof Motion Sensor & Detector (One Base Unit and Four Sensor)" .

** HERE**

This is the URL for the referenced alarm:

Thanks in advance
Dias Costa

Grindstone Cowboy09/07/2021 16:07:29
683 forum posts
58 photos

Hi Dias

I don't know anything about that alarm in particular, but in my experience, wireless things rarely work as well as advertised. You'll either be getting constant false alarms or, even worse, it won't go off when someone actually does break in.


Calum Galleitch09/07/2021 16:27:20
96 forum posts
27 photos

A couple of thoughts (I once sold burglar alarms for a living).

Firstly, against the determined, targeted thief you can do nothing. For this, the only protection is insurance. Whatever requirements they have in terms of security, follow them.

Secondly, the opportunistic thief will attack the weakest point. If your shed is less inviting than your neighbour's, he will go elsewhere. There is a lot to be said for a slightly uncared for look to a property, secured with a large rusty padlock. Also, while you obviously can't do much about machine noise, try to avoid letting people know what you have and do in there. People do gossip. If asked, a bit of vagueness is often useful: "oh, just doing a bit of drilling..." Likewise, if your shed has windows, cover them from the inside when you're not in there. The usual things like security lights, and deterrents like boxes with little LED lights and fake cameras are useful to put off the amateurs.

Your biggest defence is probably your garden: plant the perimeter well with something deeply unpleasant and spiky, several feet deep, and have a strong locked gate. Leave your car in the way of an obvious route with something heavy.

Inside the workshop, bolt down and secure as much as you can. Place tools in lockable cupboards. The ideal is to leave nothing out you can lift with one hand (someone might try to pinch something heavier, but they will typically give up and throw it in a bush fifty yards away. If you have any moving equipment, keep it chained up, out of sight, or in the house.

There's also something to be said for leaving out "bait", something moderately valuable you don't mind losing - a cheap handheld electric drill might be an ideal example. A thief breaks in, sees that, grabs it and gets out sharpish, while the gauge block set sleeps soundly in its locked cupboard.

Howard Lewis09/07/2021 18:51:53
5237 forum posts
13 photos

My shop has no windows.

1 - For security. If no one can see what is in there, they won't be quite so tempted to steal it.

2 - Also, being fairly small, the lack of windows allows more shelf space.

The door is a secondhand fire door, and came with a 6 lever lock. So it would be more difficult to cut through or to pick the lock.

Since the hinge pins are visible, externally, but not easily accessible, I fitted hinge bolts. These are merely woodscrews, about 3 mm in diameter, about 70 - 80 mm long, with the heads turned down to match the shank.. Two or three are screwed into the back edge of the door, by gripping in a drill chuck and screwing in until about 15 - 20 mm still protrudes.

By trying to close the door, the hinge bolts mark the door post, showing where to drill. The hole does not need to be a very tight fit, just enough clearance for the modified screw to enter.

If the lock is not unlocked, the door cannot be lifted out after driving out the hinge pins.

Cutting through the walls or roof, will be difficult, but not impossible, since there is cladding, at least 12 mm thick on each side of 50 mm frames, with glass fibre insulation between the frames, and cladding.. Not impossible, but slow and a bit messy, for the burglar.

It is unlikely that any thief would be slim enough to crawl between the 200 x 50 mm bearers, on 300 mm centres to cut through the floor. And there is very little area not covered by something heavy!

Hopefully any potential thief will think it not worth the effort and seek easier pickings.

The garden is surrounded by 1.7 metre high fences, with plenty of bushes against the fencing., so again, not such an easy task to cut through, especially with neighbours on each side, who might spot what was happening.



Ady109/07/2021 19:28:53
4689 forum posts
713 photos

If you can weld with even a bit of competence you can do all sorts of useful things to make life difficult and reinforce weak points

A Mig wire welder from :Lidl is about 100-120 euro, reels of flux cored welding wire are very cheap there too


pgk pgk09/07/2021 19:59:49
2298 forum posts
293 photos

Calum rightly makes the point about a determined thief - he'll always get in. I'm rural and bad folk have no problem carrying petrol driven cutter grinders. Even a battery job will get through any padlock or bolt quickly.
Security lights may just help the thief see what he's doing. Cameras matter little to the bloke with a hoodie and even less where police don't care about burglaries either.
If installing any alarm system then make it 'in your face' obvious even if that is dummy stuff - it’s as good a deterrent as the real thing.
Consider what it is you're actually protecting when it comes to insurance.. cost and your excess against the price and what may be stolen. Pinching a Bridgeport Mill isn't an opportunist thing and needs good close access.
If going to those extras then consider what else you should be doing in terms of fire safety and weather events.
There are also some novel ideas about - systems that induce vomiting, fill the place with safe smoke or spray intruders with smart water or dye if not disabled remotely before entry.
Lastly consider what your alarm system may do - If it alerts you to respond then it only works when you're home and awake enough to do so and then it’s a question of how long it takes the police to respond (if they even will) and how badly you have been beaten up in the meantime.


DMB09/07/2021 22:17:24
1154 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Dias,

There is a communal access path running between the back gardens, including mine. My back gate was a home welded robbie with 10mm vertical steel bars, so no footrests for climbing. Spacing too close to crawl through. Two metre high padlocked gate and wall topped with Pyracantha, commonly called Firethorn. White flowers just faded, red berries come in Autumn. Lots of tough woody spikes sharp as needles and about 20 - 25mm long. I call it nature's barbed wire! The upward extension of wall and gate with the added spiky bush were the result of weekly visits by some intruder who could easily get over the low wall as it was. Yes, weekly! as reported by a neighbour. He got 'dealt with' and had a hospital visit. Later found out he lived very close by and worked as a security guard! No idea why weekly intrusions unless casing the place for a break-in to workshop or house. Both securely locked of course. Never mind pinching Bridgeports, more likely hand held power tools which can be quickly disposed of in a car boot sale for cash. They have a need to monetise their I'll gotten gains ASAP before they get caught in possession. Try to keep such items upstairs somewhere in the house.


Pete.09/07/2021 23:07:31
625 forum posts
102 photos

Calum makes a good point about keeping valuable items in locking storage within the workshop.

Thieves want easy to carry high value items.

This is my work bench I made some years ago, I retrofitted some security bars in front of the drawers to add extra security, these can be padlocked in place, so behind that there's also the drawers original locking system.

Bench 1

Bench 4

Paul Lousick09/07/2021 23:36:44
1844 forum posts
659 photos

Storing valuable items in lockable cabinets is a good idea BUT it is a workshop with lots of tools to break into the cabinets.


Pete.10/07/2021 00:09:17
625 forum posts
102 photos

Surely nobody would be stupid enough to add extra security, and not bother to keep cutting tools also locked up?

Paul Lousick10/07/2021 02:49:53
1844 forum posts
659 photos

Not just cutting tools. Crow bars, hammers, shovels, axe, etc. Anything that can hit and lever to break into tha cabinets.

Ady110/07/2021 06:46:41
4689 forum posts
713 photos

The best security of all is a mutt

Always had dogs, never got raided

When they see a dog... they go somewhere else

brian roberts 210/07/2021 07:56:55
17 forum posts
2 photos

Hello Dias,

Along with all the other useful suggestions, I should like to add one more - a very loud siren. There are deterrent sirens available which are designed to be extremely uncomfortable to someone in the same room, such that they have to leave quickly to escape injury to their ears. They can be operated by a simple door or window contact or a more complicated intruder alarm. Obviously, you will need to disarm it each time you enter. This is the problem with security measures - they make your life more fiddly / complicated / tedious / etc.

Admittedly, these only operate after the break- in, but they do alert you to the intruder. The next decision you need to make is what size stick to take down to the workshop to investigate the din.



RMA10/07/2021 10:29:33
281 forum posts
4 photos

This thread covers a very important subject but it's probably not a good idea to go into detail about your own security! This is the internet and this forum is open......thieves these days don't go round in a striped shirt carrying a jemmy any more, they are very tech savy nowadays and can find out where you live and what you've got.

Martin Kyte10/07/2021 10:44:30
2536 forum posts
45 photos

I would suugest that there is little you can sensibly do to deter the person who specifically targets your shed apart from keep a low profile to avoid their attention. That leaves you with the opportunistic thieves who tend to go along a row of houses before the local car boot sale. They tend to ignore anything they cannot get into easily withing a couple of minutes. To give an example a gang drove a van along the field at the rear of the houses on my friends road and went through all the garden sheds. Both houses either side lost stuff but Barries dog barked so they missed him out.

regards Martin

Howard Lewis10/07/2021 15:33:58
5237 forum posts
13 photos

The average opportunist will go for the easy to get, easy to sell stuff. Hand tools, drills angle grindersetc.

If the building is difficult to enter, there will be an easier one nearby..

The problem will be the premeditated thieves who will have a good idea of what they are looking for.

Witness some of the locos and road engines obviously specifically targeted, and removed in a van..

Opportunists will probably chuck a vernier protractor into a ditch because they don't what it is or what quick buck they might get for it. They are not going to try to carry a heavy model,

THIS time. But they might remember and come back better prepared next time.

Don't put it on display, if it can be avoided, and make unauthorised entry as difficult as possible.

Dogs and visible Alarms are a splendid deterrent.

Daughter and Son in Law have a video door bell. A disembodied voice, "Can I help you?" or "What do you want" is a good deterrent.

No one is going to want to push through Pyrocantha, certainly not a second time!


Edited By Howard Lewis on 10/07/2021 15:35:36

Calum Galleitch10/07/2021 16:03:10
96 forum posts
27 photos

If anyone is interested in a more formal analysis, there is a very interesting chapter in a book on software security - often software can be breached if an attacker has physical access - which is worth a read:


Quite long, and not all of it relevant to securing a shed, but some interesting and useful ideas for anyone thinking about it.

Peter Greene10/07/2021 19:09:23
272 forum posts
2 photos

I'd have thought that one (or more) IP Cameras, in and/or outside the shed, transmitting to a separate site might help. Along with a clearly posted admonition that all recordings will be widely circulated to sites like this, not to mention YouTube etc (even if the Police aren't bothered).

br10/07/2021 19:38:55
697 forum posts
3 photos

Infra red beam covering doors and windows coupled up to to a couple of rook scarers.

You will know they are there, and they may well need a change of underwear,  wink

Nice and simple and cheap.



Edited By br on 10/07/2021 19:40:36

Edited By br on 10/07/2021 20:04:54

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