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What sort of lock should I use for an outbuilding/shed?

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Found 5th Aug 2013
I have a sort of shed/small outbuilding at the back of my house, which I am going to store garden tools in. It currently just has a wooden door with basic latch (no lock).

Unsure what sort of lock I should get. Obviously a standard bolt/padlock would be no good as it can just be unscrewed.

Any recommendations?
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AskLockShed
16 Comments
If it's a standard wooden shed, it doesn't matter what lock you put on it - you can still open the door with a minimum amount of force. All a lock does is delay the inevitable by a few seconds. A strong lock is a waste of money on a weak door and if someone does try to break in, they won't worry about damaging the door. I have a nightlatch style on mine (was already there when I moved here) but I don't expect it to prevent a break-in - I could probably get in with no tools. If your shed is substantial with a decent door, then put the same kind of lock on that you would on your house door. You can get shed alarms but they're a bit hit and miss so I wouldn't rely on them either. The golden rule is don't put anything in your shed that you wouldn't be prepared to lose.
Original Poster
Hi. It's not a standard shed ... I'll try and post a photo at some point as it's difficult to explain. it's more of an outbuilding made of brick with a solid wooden door & is connected to the back of the house.

It would take quite an effort to get in if the door was locked - basically brute force - and probably wouldn't be worthwhile as it would wake me and my neighbour quite quickly.

There's only a handful of tools in there inc a £50 lawnmower - so nothing massively valuable. But I'd still prefer not to leave it unlocked.

Still unsure on the type of lock and what kit I would actually need :s
If they want to get in, they will no matter what lock you use. I use a brenton bolt on mine fixed on with coach bolts that can't be unscrewed from the outside. It may make them look elsewhere rather than steal my stuff.
As said. Just think how to make it difficult to break in rather than 'secure' for starters. Motion-sensitive light on the outside. Noisy motion sensitve alarm inside. Curtains up the window(s) if it has them. An expensive lock won't stop a burglar but it will will delay them and force them to make more noise. I'd use a waterproof combination lock rather than a 'key' type.

I recently saw a cheap spotlight at Lidl:

lidl.co.uk/cps…=10

Locks you can get from any major hardware retailer. As ceres pointed out - don't go nuts. If Mr burglar cuts it through then it's just wasted money anyway.

For security, a quick search online produced a wealth of ideas. This company; for instance; have several options devoted to shed security. Not mega-money for a single PIR detection unit. Would do the job nicely.

ultrasecuredirect.com/aca…tml

If you were so inclined, I would consider mounting the door with the hinges on the inside for added security. Doubling up on the amount of hinges also makes it much harder (and noisier!) to pry open. Deadbolts top and bottom to be sure.

Of course, there are those that subscribe to the thinking that the more security you put on something - the more likely and determined the would-be thief is as there MUST be something good in there! Food for thought...

All the best, Phsy.
TUSSFC

Hi. It's not a standard shed ... I'll try and post a photo at some point … Hi. It's not a standard shed ... I'll try and post a photo at some point as it's difficult to explain. it's more of an outbuilding made of brick with a solid wooden door & is connected to the back of the house. It would take quite an effort to get in if the door was locked - basically brute force - and probably wouldn't be worthwhile as it would wake me and my neighbour quite quickly.There's only a handful of tools in there inc a £50 lawnmower - so nothing massively valuable. But I'd still prefer not to leave it unlocked.Still unsure on the type of lock and what kit I would actually need :s



If the door and frame are solid a BS 5 lever mortice deadlock. It's what insurance companies require for house doors. A security light is a good idea too.
Original Poster
What material is better for outside? Brass/Chrome/Nickel?

Thanks for the thoughts Phsy ... I do actually have an outside light which is switched. But don't leave it on generally. Maybe I can look at replacing with a sensor light. I think an alarm is overkill for what will be in there. As you say - if someone really wants in, they'll get in. I just want to deter from trying tbh.
It's only the circular keyhole that's on the outside and it's made for that purpose so it's personal preference what finish you have. They'll all weather eventually.
TUSSFC

What material is better for outside? Brass/Chrome/Nickel?Thanks for the … What material is better for outside? Brass/Chrome/Nickel?Thanks for the thoughts Phsy ... I do actually have an outside light which is switched. But don't leave it on generally. Maybe I can look at replacing with a sensor light. I think an alarm is overkill for what will be in there. As you say - if someone really wants in, they'll get in. I just want to deter from trying tbh.



Therefore, a sensor light is a pretty good deterent! Many a scallywag will decide to bolt as soon as they think someone has discovered them. If not, a siren going off from a cheap alarm if they do manage to get in will definitely make em' think twice about hanging around.

Something I know someone else does which is relatively inexpensive - chain your equipment down inside the shed. Heavy gauge chain round a shackle bolted to the ground. You'd have to literally dismantle the equipment to get anything away from this person's shed! The beauty of their method is that you only require one really heavy padlock, and of course the chain. Just another idea for consideration...
I don't know if it applies in all areas but my local PCSO gave me 5 lever mortice deadlocks for my and my elderly neighbour's garage doors, along with a padlock and a ground anchor for my bike - nearly £100 of kit free of charge. Worth asking.
Someone above mentioned insurance company: that is the most important thing to consider. You need to speak to your home insurance to find out what they require. Otherwise in the unfortunate event of a claim you might find you are not covered. The comment about cementing chains to the floor is actually a requirement for some insurance companies and even if yours doesn't require it, it's a great idea.
WelshWoman1

The comment about cementing chains to the floor is actually a requirement … The comment about cementing chains to the floor is actually a requirement for some insurance companies and even if yours doesn't require it, it's a great idea.



A requirement for what? I've never actually seen such a requirement but, if it exists, it can only be a requirement for a small number of things that could actually be secured in this way. You can't secure the entire contents of sheds with a chain on the floor.
Just recently got one of these hotukdeals.com/dea…497 for my shed, got mine from B&M, not bad for a fiver.

And how about this for a sensor light
I leave mine unlocked and sometimes don't even close the door, Been like that for the last 5 years and never been robbed. If I locked it guarantee someone would break the door and I'd have to repair it lol.
shauneco

I leave mine unlocked and sometimes don't even close the door, Been like … I leave mine unlocked and sometimes don't even close the door, Been like that for the last 5 years and never been robbed. If I locked it guarantee someone would break the door and I'd have to repair it lol.



My allotment site had multiple shed break-ins on a regular basis, nothing much usually stolen just local oiks doing it for the hell of it. In the end we just stopped locking the doors, at least that way they weren't damaged.
ceres

A requirement for what? I've never actually seen such a requirement but, … A requirement for what? I've never actually seen such a requirement but, if it exists, it can only be a requirement for a small number of things that could actually be secured in this way. You can't secure the entire contents of sheds with a chain on the floor.



It is for expensive equipment such as bikes or ride on mowers or motorcycles. Both my brother and best friend were told to do so by their insurers after claiming for a theft once. I'm sure the original poster who suggested it, nor myself, meant to imply everything be chained to the floor. That would be quite impossible obviously.
WelshWoman1

It is for expensive equipment such as bikes or ride on mowers or … It is for expensive equipment such as bikes or ride on mowers or motorcycles. Both my brother and best friend were told to do so by their insurers after claiming for a theft once. I'm sure the original poster who suggested it, nor myself, meant to imply everything be chained to the floor. That would be quite impossible obviously.



I have just checked my own policy and it states that bikes, for instance, have to be locked to an immoveable object. I suppose this is where concrete floor chains come in, as furniture and even wooden shed structures can be moved. As I said first, best to check their own policy :-)
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