Just like any garden building, keeping a shed secure can be a challenge. A high-quality shed lock can provide protection and peace of mind for your contents inside.
With all garden buildings, security can be a big concern and a shed is no exception. Due to usually being positioned at the bottom of a garden and far away from the main property, sheds are often targets for burglars. Data shows at least 22,500 instances of garden shed burglary every year and many of these will see significant items of value stolen.
The average shed contains hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of equipment. This can include gardening items, lawnmowers, bikes and more which can all add up. Sheds at most risk include those with access from the bottom of the garden such as those which back onto a field or alleyway, but any can easily be a target.
Sheds do come with a pre-installed door bolt. The problem with many is that they are not the strongest and can quickly be beaten by an intruder. With the British weather, many budget locks can suffer corrosion or become weakened over time.
Thankfully, a shed can easily be modified to increase security and give opportunists a difficult time getting access. One of the easiest ways is to upgrade the lock to provide additional protection and ensure the door stays closed. We have upgraded our shed lock to a heavy-duty version and also use additional locks on items in the shed such as a padlock on the toolbox and a separate bike lock. All of these measures combined make it very difficult for any of the contents of the shed to be moved.
Plenty of different lock models and styles are available online, depending on the type of shed and the protection required.
Best shed locks
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We’ve combined some of our favourite shed locks below to keep a shed protected. Shed locking systems and padlocks are usually purchased separately, giving more choice.
Federal 4025 Heavy-Duty Hasp lock (Amazon)
Sturdy protection from a lock weighing over 2kg
The Federal brand supplies a number of high-quality locks designed for keeping outdoor items secure. This heavy-duty lock is one of the biggest shed locks we have come across, designed to deter burglars, as well as prevent access. The locking system itself weighs over 2.02kg and stands 75mm tall.
The hasp and staple design is built from hardened steel to provide enhanced protection for tough jobs. The fixings are concealed behind the hardened steel body to prevent access and everything needed is included in the pack. To prevent corrosion and rust, the body is coated using electroplating for a highly corrosion-resistant finish. The CEN grade 4 rating means the security lock has been tested for high security. Once the locking system has been fitted, it can be paired with a heavy-duty padlock.
Master Lock Heavy-duty padlock Hasp (Amazon)
Hardened steel to avoid intruder & weather damage
Master Lock are well known for producing a huge range of different lock products. The heavy-duty locking system is perfect for providing additional security to a shed door. The hardened steel staple resists cuts and sawing from intruders and the locking eye is made from boron alloy for maximum cut resistance.
To weatherproof the design, the cast steel hasp is coated in zinc for longer-lasting protection. The mounting hardware is included for easy installation to get your shed protected in no time. As with any hasp style lock, a high-quality padlock can be paired for protection.
Premium lock to protect shed contents
Once a shed has a high-quality hasp locking system in place, it’s time to find a padlock to keep the shed secure. If you’ve invested in a great locking system, the padlock is the final piece for overall high security. This Federal padlock stands out amongst similar models from other manufacturers due to its heavy-duty design and high level of security protection.
The padlock features a CEN grade 4 rating, ensuring it has been tested and fit for workshops, toolboxes and additional items. The lock’s design is weatherproof to protect against rust which can occur on a padlock and potentially affect its performance. Two keys are included to keep a spare as well.
Garden shed lock bar (Amazon)
An additional layer of security
A way to really enhance the security of a shed is to install a lock bar to the door which can be applied as an additional measure as well as a lock. A lock bar sits across the door and prevents access to the door until it has been removed. This provides an additional step and layer of protection before the doors lock is challenged. For many intruders, both a lock bar and a lock on the shed may be too time-consuming to easily remove.
This heavy-duty lock bar is 1.2m in width and suitable for doors up to 1 metre wide. The galvanised finish provides extreme weather resistance for up to 25 years and will probably outlast the lifetime of the shed. The design allows for the bar to be removed without pulling the whole bar through the brackets. All of the fixings for installation are supplied, with the only extra item needed being a padlock.
Y Anchor heavy duty shed hasp lock (Amazon)
Lock system for double shed doors
For sheds with double doors, it can often be a challenge to find a locking system designed with both of them in mind. This Y Anchor heavy duty hasp and staple lock is a smart solution. The locking mechanisms design includes protection from the top, side and bottom for a padlock. The enhanced 5mm thickness provides increased security strength, making the system difficult to break.
Each side measures 220mm and both pieces sit together, creating a tidy locking system in the centre of the doors of the shed. The kit includes heavy-duty 75mm coach drill bolts, as well as all of the washers and nuts required. Just purchase a heavy-duty padlock to enhance the protection.
How to choose the best shed lock
Shed locking systems can soon become complicated, with many different styles and brands to choose from. We always look for heavy-duty products designed to last and withstand the elements outdoors.
Lock style – Most shed locks will use a hasp & staple system. The hinged hasp is usually fitted to the door and the staple system with the loop will be attached to the surrounding frame. A high-quality system will make it difficult to access the fixings to remove.
Weatherproof – Trying to use an indoor lock for a shed will usually result in rust within a few months. Rust can be an issue as it can potentially weaken the lock or even damage it, stopping the lock from opening properly. Look for a lock that is weatherproof and contains an additional coating to prevent the metal from rusting. Some locks will use rubber covers to keep the lock protected.
Keys or codes – A choice of keyed or coded padlocks are available for a shed. We find keyed padlocks are the best to provide enhanced protection and avoid the code being guessed. We also find they are quicker to operate, particularly in the cold. If you’re likely to misplace the key or not have access to it, a pin coded padlock can be a good alternative.
Warranty & rating – Many of the top branded locks provide a long warranty for protection and peace of mind. The warranty is also a sign of quality and confidence from the manufacturer of the lock. Some brands also rate their lock products on a number scale, with higher numbers providing an increased level of protection.
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How to keep a shed secure
Keeping any garden secure goes further than just an upgraded lock. A new padlock is one of the best steps to increase security, but combined with additional measures can provide greater protection.
Obscure or cover the windows
If an opportunist thief is in your garden during the night, they are going to be looking around for items of value that stand out. Peering through the shed windows is an obvious choice to see if there are any items of value. An easy way to prevent this and reduce the temptation of gaining access to the shed is to cover the windows.
Window film is widely available online and easy to install. Different options are available including frosted glass and also a complete black-out. We find the frost options work great as they still let light inside but obscure the interior contents. Another benefit is that many of these films provide UV protection which can stop the colour of items such as garden furniture from fading where they are constantly exposed to the sun through the window. As well as window film, items can also be placed in front of the window to cover the view and stop anyone from getting close enough to easily see inside. Large plant pots and heavy statues work great limit access to the windows.
Extra lighting is a smart technique to deter burglars and keep a shed secure. Lights turning on will cause many people to leave as they may have been spotted by the homeowner. Security lighting works similar to an alarm and uses PIR motion sensors to detect movement in front of them. When something emitting infrared heat (such as a person or animal) walks in front of the sensor, the light will turn on immediately.
If there’s no electricity near your shed and running wiring is not an option, solar lighting is a great option. Solar security lights are low-cost and easy to install. LED versions provide very bright light and as they are only triggered on movement, will last throughout the night. The tip with security lights is to get them positioned in the best location to detect when someone is actually approaching your shed. In front of windows and doors is the best option to ensure all access areas are covered.
A shed lock will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your contents protected. However, it’s a good idea to have a backup option in place just in case intruders manage to gain access. This is where a shed alarm comes in to alert you if someone has got past your lock. The piercing loud noise of an alarm is enough to deter most burglars who will leave quickly once it starts ringing. The alarm is also a notification to let you know that the shed has been opened.
A lot of shed alarms are available. Low budget options feature a single unit that contains both a speaker and sensor. For most sheds, these are perfect and can be operated using a keypad or remote fob. For larger sheds or those with electricity, house alarms can also be used. Smart alarms can connect to the internet and send a notification to your mobile phone if the alarm is triggered.
Security cameras have become common for protecting the exterior of our homes. Once very complicated and expensive, smart cameras are now easy to operate with an app and relatively inexpensive. A camera provides a deterrent to burglars and many will not even attempt it if they know their actions are being recorded. If the shed is broken into, a camera can provide the evidence needed for the Police or insurance of the items being stolen.
An internet connection and electric supply are required for cameras. Battery operated units are best avoided as you don’t want the battery to go at a critical moment. Power Over Ethernet systems can allow for a single cable solution and make a great choice for placing cameras in the garden.
Keeping a garden building such as a shed secure is essential to keep your items protected. Most sheds contain hundreds of pounds worth of equipment and tools which could easily be removed by an opportunist burglar. While most sheds come with a basic lock pre-installed, it may not be up to the heavy-duty task of keeping the shed door closed during an attempted break-in.
Investing in a high quality shed lock provides peace of mind and a low-cost way to increase security. For best results, additional steps can be taken to further enhance protection to the shed including obscuring the windows and fitting an alarm.