You may have your house in order in terms of home security but have you considered ways to keep your garden building secure and protected from intruders?
Garden buildings are a prime target for burglars. At CTB Alarms we are receiving an increased number of enquiries for security advice for garden rooms, and to fit wireless alarm systems, and CCTV to man caves, and garden offices. In response to this, we have an alarm package with no monthly charges or contracts that is ideal for small homes, offices, sheds, garages, and outbuildings along with many other tips and tricks you can use to protect your property.
The pandemic has seen many of us working from home during lockdowns, and this has put pressure on families to adapt their living space to accommodate an office in the home. Whilst the lifting of restrictions has seen a return to the office for some, the ‘working from home’ model remains for many, and the need to develop a more permanent solution than using the dining room table, or sitting with a laptop perched on your knee has become a focus for home workers.
In answer to this, there has been a substantial increase in the number of home offices developed in the garden. Garden office rooms provide a dedicated space for work whilst still based at your home location. Outdoor office space takes many forms, shed office, garage conversions, log cabin offices, summerhouses, and garden rooms.
Whilst these outdoor home offices provide space, and peace and quiet away from the actual home, do garden offices provide adequate security for technology equipment, valuables, and documentation that may contain sensitive information?
Outbuildings, sheds, mancaves, garages, and garden offices at the home but located away from the main house can be a target for burglaries and break-ins.
So how do you keep your office at the bottom of the garden secure?
Garden Office Security is something we are being asked about increasingly at CTB Alarms. The type of structure and the quality of the build undoubtedly play a part in the overall security of your office outbuilding however there are still security measures that can be used regardless.
Security Alarms Systems for Garden Buildings
If your new outdoor home office has been purpose-built, and with security as one of the key considerations, then you may have installed a hardwired alarm system. If not, or if you are re-purposing an existing building or structure to be an office, mancave or socialising space, then a wireless alarm system can be retrofitted.
Depending on the proximity of your outbuilding it may even be possible to extend the existing home security alarm system you have in place in the main house to incorporate new areas. CTB Alarms will always offer different security solutions and advice where they exist including upgrading, repairing, or extending your existing security alarm system to meet your requirements.
Outdoor home office spaces are generally quite small and open plan and positioning alarm sensors in a key position will detect any intruders. If your office is broken into the alarm will trigger and you depending on your settings the alarm will sound and/or you will be notified by phone or text.
Securing Windows & Doors
High-quality windows and doors and a good solid structure make it more difficult for burglars to gain access to an outbuilding. The more substantial a door is the more scope there is for using an effective locking system such as a multi-point locking system. Modern, purpose-built home offices tend to have doors and windows fitted that are of similar quality and with the same security features as those fitted to houses.
Make sure your office building has window locks in place for any opening windows. Locking window handles makes a shed or office building window more difficult for thieves to open from the outside.
Consider the quality and method of glazing and window units. Use methods that make it more difficult for the glass to be removed from the outside such as adding glazing bars inside rather than outside. Also, look at the accessibility and quality of hinges on doors and windows.
If you have locks on the windows and doors of sheds, outbuildings, garages, and home offices make sure you use them and use them consistently. It may affect your insurance if you leave them unlocked. This is also true for alarms. If your insurance provider has provided cover on the basis that a certain type of alarm is protecting the property and it comes to light that it has not been used you could find yourself uninsured.
Another point to consider when leaving outbuildings unlocked is the easy access it gives to burglars for items to assist them in breaking into your property. Leaving your shed or outbuilding unlocked may give thieves access to ladders or tools to help them gain access to your property. Some tools they can bring with them discretely, but if they know they can use your ladders they don’t have to risk approaching their victim’s property with a rather conspicuous set of steps under one arm!
CCTV and Security Cameras for outbuildings
CCTV and visible outdoor security cameras are a big deterrent for burglars for both homes, outdoor space, and outbuildings. You may opt for a decoy camera or a live and operating CCTV security camera system. When assessing your property as a potential target CCTV Cameras will be a factor intruders will take into account. If your CCTV is operational you may capture images that can be passed onto the police.
Outdoor Security Lighting
Outdoor security lighting is important. You can mount security lights to the outbuilding itself which are activated when someone approaches the building. Security lights with motion sensors will detect movement and illuminate the area surrounding your outbuilding. You may also consider the access route to the building too and it may be worth fitting floodlights for these areas too.
Insurance for your garden office building
Protecting your outbuilding also extends to ensuring it is adequately insured. Don’t assume your home insurance covers your outbuildings. If you have changed your shed to an office it may be worth checking that what’s in there is covered by your home insurance policy.
Protect your house as well as your garden office
Whilst working in the garden office is your main home completely secure? If someone is watching your property and your habits with a view to targetting you for a break-in then the fact that your spend large parts of the day engrossed in your work at the top of your garden in a home office building is not going to go unnoticed. All your efforts to protect your garden office are undone if your main home security is neglected. Make sure you have an effective home security system in place for your house as well as any outbuildings such as sheds, garages, and offices.
Keep Garden Buildings well maintained
Keep your garden buildings well maintained. If it looks sturdy, well maintained, and well cared for thieves will assume that a certain amount of consideration has gone into protecting your property from a security perspective. If it looks uncared for and like it’s going to fall over then it’s likely to be easy to break into and it’s unlikely to have a security alarm installed.
Gravel Paths and Defensive Planting
Use gravel for paths, access routes, and areas surrounding outbuildings you want to protect. These make noise and put intruders off. Also, consider strategic defensive planting under windows and plug gaps that may make access to your private space easy. A prickly plant in the right place can be offputting for intruders. Simple measures such as reviewing tall hedges and trees which may provide privacy can also provide valuable cover for intruders to hide behind whilst they break into your property. These measures alone do not mean you are completely secure but they will help.
Keep valuables out of sight. Put things away and if possible lock them away. Take valuables into the house with you when not in use.