30 Mar 2017

Advice on how to keep your shed in top shape

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Self-builders put a lot of effort into securing their homes, but many forget to offer equal attention to outbuildings and sheds. Here, The Master Locksmith Association sheds light on garden security.

According to research carried out by The Crime Prevention Website, one in three households have a shed that is easy to break into, providing a prime target for thieves looking for a high-value opportunity, or even tools to gain access to your home.

Whether you are planning to use your shed like a traditionalist – for tools, pots and garden furniture – or, like many these days, as an extension of your home in the form of a games room, home cinema, gym, bar or a relaxing space to escape, it is more than likely to contain a high contents value.

It’s no secret that thieves target these buildings, yet we still don’t seem to have mastered securing them, as a recent survey stated that only 15% of sheds are classed as ‘very well secured’.

When it comes to protecting your outbuildings and sheds, it’s important not to cut corners in terms of quality – buying good quality, strong locks and bolts is an investment. The first place to start is with the door, attach mortice security bolts to the top and bottom, ensuring they are well-fitted so that they cannot be ripped away from the timber. If your shed door (or frame) is too small and thin for a mortice lock, it’s vital to invest in a good hasp, staple and padlock.

Pay attention to door hinges too, ensuring thieves cannot easily remove them and take the door off that way. Fitting a pair of hinge bolts to each leaf should hold the door in place if someone tries to break the hinges.

It seems obvious but, if your shed has windows, ensure they are fitted with working locks. Extra security measures include grilles and welded mesh sheeting, which can be fitted on the inside, and netting or reflective sheeting can be used to stop a potential thief from seeing the objects inside.

www.locksmiths.co.uk

Treatments

Michael Nicholls, Sales Manager at OrganoWood, offers his advice on keeping your shed in top shape.

“Wood is a natural, hygroscopic material and reacts to the conditions of its environment. As an external building, wooden sheds are vulnerable to the elements and require treatment to help enforce its natural barriers when exposed to the elements, all year round. “Whilst pressure treating wood has been a common method to preserve exterior timber, it is not the only, or best, solution available. Over the years, more and more environmentally-friendly wood treatment solutions have made their way onto the UK market, offering self-builders an alternative to chemical laden and hazardous products.

“As well as being kind to the environment and protecting exterior wood from harsh elements, environmentally-friendly solutions are also known to enhance the natural beauty of the timber. In particular, OrganoWood products naturally age the wood with an aesthetically-pleasing, silver-grey hue over time, enhancing the timber’s organic beauty.”

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www.organowood.co.uk

According to Steve Grimwood, Managing Director at Osmo UK, wood needs protecting, especially when it is used in external applications.

“A wood finish with a UV protection of SPF12 is a suitable treatment to apply onto any wooden shed to ensure its longevity over the coming months. We have developed Osmo UV-Protection-Oil to offer this finish. Designed to protect, maintain and restore all types of wood from the effects of the environment, the finish will protect the wood’s surface and enhance the natural look of the shed. By absorbing into the wood, the finish allows the surface to remain healthy and elastic, preventing it from drying and becoming brittle, and will not crack, flake, peel or blister.”

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www.osmouk.com

Light it up

Here, Garden Trading offers its top tips for illuminating a shed.

When lighting a shed, we recommend using an IP44-rated light, which means that the light has been tested for safe use outdoors. All Garden Trading’s exterior lights are IP44-rated or above, providing peace of mind if moisture finds its way inside the shed.

Motion-sensor compatible lights should be a key consideration for homeowners, allowing a safe approach to a shed in dark, winter evenings.

Moving inside, we would recommend fully weather and rustproof lighting to provide a safe but stylish option. For example, our Chatham ceiling mount light is perfect for installing inside a shed, crafted from aluminum and zinc. Being ceiling-mounted, it will allow safe visibility of the whole shed while freeing up wall space for valuable storage and work space.

www.gardentrading.co.uk

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