Keeping Your Garden Buildings Locked Up Tight

Whether you are enjoying them in the summer or locking them up for the winter, your garden outbuildings deserve the best security measures. We ask the experts from Squire for some advice

Is there a seasonal variation in thefts from outbuildings?
Statistics show there’s a surge in burglaries in winter, particularly when the nights draw in around Halloween and Bonfire Night. This gives thieves opportunity to take advantage under cover of darkness. It’s a fact that criminals are most likely to break into your home through doors and windows. And according to the, those with no proper home security in place are five times as likely to be burgled. But a few simple security measures can help to keep your outdoor areas, garden and shed secure.

What sort of items do thieves tend to look for in outbuildings?
Nowadays, a typical shed can house a wealth of expensive goods – bicycles, tools, ladders, a valuable barbeque or lawnmower full of petrol. The popularity of outdoor living and alfresco dining means home owners are storing more and more expensive patio furniture. And as homeworking has become the new norm for millions of us, there’s a massive rise in people taking to their gardens to set up a private home office.

What security precautions should we take apart from locks?
Fitting an alarm may be a requirement of your insurance company. CCTV and webcams are a popular security choice alongside specialised alarms that call or text you if they go off. Some give you a remote live stream video of what’s going on at your property on your smart phone. Although these are useful for catching criminals and may deter them, it won’t prevent them gaining access to your property in the first place or finding unsecured valuables.

What sort of locks should we choose for outbuildings?
Secure gates and access with heavy duty, weatherproof key or combination padlocks. Lock items like expensive cycles to floors or walls with ground and wall anchors combined with the toughest lock and chain sets. Always choose a high quality padlock and hasp, hasp and staple set or combination locking bolt to secure your shed. Don’t forget the ‘hinge’ side of the door, burglars may prize a door from the hinge side if the lock side is the stronger. Use non-return/security screws where necessary. Secure ‘up and over’ garage doors using garage door protectors.

What makes a good padlock?
There are many types of padlocks that come in all sizes, styles, weights, materials, and security levels. Size matters, the bigger the better, it’s more resistant to attack and a visible deterrent. Look for locks made from high quality materials such as solid brass, laminated steel, armoured steel, solid hardened steel. And the thicker the shackle, the harder it is to cut through. For outdoor locks, look for weather resistant material like rustproof stainless steel or electrophoretic finish.

What specific products can I use to protect bikes and motorbikes?
Security at home is more important than ever with the highest number of cycle and motorcycles stolen from your own home. Choose from a host of different options to protect your pride and joy starting with garage door protectors as your first line of defence, the highest rated Sold Secure approved ground and wall anchors, heavy-duty lock and chain sets combined with brake disc locks for motorcycles as an extra level of security.

What is the Sold Secure scheme?
This is the premier British testing and certification body for all security products. They work with the Home Office, police and insurers to set the industry standards for security product testing. Products are rigorously tested against these standards and graded accordingly. Only products which have been satisfactorily assessed are allowed to show the coveted Sold Secure approved quality mark. Their testing methods are based on official data on all the latest tools and techniques being used by opportunistic thieves. So, when you select a product with the Sold Secure quality mark on it, you can be confident of a quality product.

How should I maintain a padlock in winter?
To preserve the working life of your padlocks, we recommend cleaning and oiling the lock on a regular basis. Use a soft cotton cloth to clean affected external areas along with a monthly spraying with a silicone based lubricant particularly around the cylinder area of keyed locks and on the key, the shackle bolt holes and the wheels and press release button of combination locks.

What the story behind Squire?
The iconic Squire name has been at the forefront of lock making since 1780 with a great British history carried down through eight generations. Today, Squire is recognised for making the toughest locks in the world, for home, work, cycles and motorcycles – cylinders, padlocks and combination locks, multi-purpose lock and chain sets, security cables, bolts, hasps and staples, and security accessories. And we offer a personal ‘no-quibble’ 10-year guarantee on all our padlocks.

Where can I find out more about Squire products?
Visit the website email or telephone 01902 308050.

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