Bikes have really grown in popularity over the past few years, thanks to environmental drives and the influence of the London 2012 Olympics.

The downside is that more and more of us seem to be losing our bikes thanks to thieves – even if they’re tucked safely away in our garden shed.

So, I thought I’d give you a few tips on how to improve the security of both your shed and your bike for the summer – I hope you find them useful.

Bicycle

Why thieves target your shed…

Figures show that thefts from sheds and gardens in the UK are on the up. For instance, a recent report in the Hull Daily Mail revealed that around ¬£43,000 worth of bikes and accessories have been stolen in just a two-month period in the Yorkshire town of Beverley. So, what’s behind all this?

  • It’s less risky for burglars to target sheds than houses
  • Cycling is becoming more popular, which means expensive bikes are becoming more attractive to thieves
  • Shed security is often relatively poor in comparison to homes, so it is less of a challenge to break into them

Top security tips

Protect your shed from the inside outBike Ground Anchor

One of the best tips I’ve heard lately is to start from the inside out. By this, I mean taking steps to secure your bike before you even shut the shed door. For instance, you can invest in a ground anchor, to which you can attach your bike – this makes it much harder to steal.

It’s also worth buying a heavy-duty bike lock – think motorbike rather than pushbike lock. While this is likely to be far too weighty and cumbersome to carry when you’re out and about, it’s just the thing for securing your bike at home, since it’ll be much harder to break into than cheaper, flimsier cycle locks.

You should also permanently mark your bike and accessories if you can (as well as any other valuables you keep in the shed). This makes life harder for the burglar, since marked goods are more difficult to sell – if you’re very lucky, it might deter them from stealing your stuff altogether.

Shed with no windowsBlock up any windows (or buy a shed without any!)

Burglars won’t be tempted by what they can’t see, so it can really pay off to add curtains, cover the windows with dark paper (from the inside, of course) or to invest in a brand new windowless shed.

A shed without windows can actually help boost the overall level of security, since windows are a weak point in most sheds. So, buying this kind of storage is definitely worth considering.

Hasps, padlocks and hingesPadlock

Next, turn your attention to the outside of the shed. Even if your model has its own lock, add your own to make it more secure. Invest in a hasp and heavy-duty padlock – and don’t skimp on expense. Buying a cheap lock will mean it’s easy for thieves to break in!

Meanwhile, it’s also worth checking that the hinges can’t be easily removed – otherwise even the best lock might be rendered ineffective. Replace regular screws with security screws or coach bolts.

Shed DoorDoor strength

Take a look at the shed door next. If it’s flimsy, burglars will easily be able to get through it with a few strong kicks. If you reckon that could happen to your shed, either replace or reinforce the door, or invest in a whole new shed.

If you do opt for a new one and security’s your key focus,¬†look for metal sheds for sale. These are often sturdier than their wooden counterparts.

Location, lighting and alarmsShed security lighting

Finally, you can help protect your bike by positioning your shed well. Ideally, you want to keep it out of sight of the main street, but also in a place that doesn’t give any enterprising thieves privacy to break in – perhaps place it somewhere your neighbours can see.

Similarly, a security light can help scare off would-be burglars, while alarms – either special shed alarms or something connected to your home system – are also fantastic.