The Flimsy Truth About Most Shed Locks & How to Secure Your Shed Doors and Windows
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SO, YOU ARE READY to upgrade your shed's security after watching your neighbors' sheds being broken into over the last few weeks.
The last thing you want is to be the next one in line to lose your bikes and the rest of your gear.
I can totally relate to where you are at, last year several of my neighbors went through the same thing.
They got me to and stole three bikes, my ATV, and hundreds of dollars' worth of tools. My first step was to invest in upgrading the security of my shed. I started out by looking at the various types of shed locks on the market looking to find the best ones for my money.
Typical Problems Associated with Various Shed Locks
No Matter what type of shed lock you are looking at, each different style has its own share of problems.
It is far better for you to know exactly what you are up against before you rush out and invest in a lock that simply isn't going to get the job done. After all, what is the point in spending your hard earned money on a shed lock only to make it easy for a thief to break into your shed and steal your property?
When you start your journey into better shed security, there are a few things you need to consider beyond the lock itself. Only when you fully understand the groundwork will you be ready to set up the best possible shed locking system for your needs.
Here are a few things to consider that can save you time and most importantly of all, money.
1. What Is Your Shed Made Of?
The materials your shed is made from will have a major impact on the type of shed locks you can install and expect a certain amount of security from.
For example, if your shed is made from plastic, you may not be able to install a deadbolt, but a good well-secured hasp and padlock can offer plenty of security.
On the other hand, if you have a wood framed and sided shed, you can go all-out with a deadbolt/ locking door handle combination. The main point here is that no matter what type of lock you install, it will only be as good as the materials it is attached to.
2. Humidity and Rain
If you live in an area where it rains a lot or suffers from high levels of humidity, you need to keep this in mind as you search for the right shed locks.
Cheap padlocks, door handle locks, and electronic locks can be seriously affected by water and humidity. Rusted lock cylinders can leave you with a lock that is either very hard to open or cannot be opened at all.
These locks also tend to freeze shut if you live where it snows or is extremely cold in the winter months.
3. Poor Quality Locks
If you are going to invest in some form of shed locks to protect your valuables, why would you even consider buying a cheap lock?
The idea behind a lock is not to just look pretty, it is to keep those people who covet what you have but don’t want to pay for it out. Even “top” brand name padlocks like Masterlock brand are only minimally effective if your shed and hasp setup are not up to snuff. In fact, many of these “top” brands are relatively easy to cut with a large pair of bolt cutters.
They might be “bullet proof” as their ads claim, but a determined thief with bolt cutters can slice right through the locking bar. Cheap locks are made with steel internal parts rather than stainless steel or brass, because of this they can and frequently do rust shut.
This renders them practically useless. Do yourself a favor and invest in good quality locks for your own peace of mind.
A lock is only as good as the materials it is attached to. For example, if you are planning to use a hasp and padlock setup, you must use a top quality hasp.
This means one that cannot be cut with a pair of bolt cutters. It also means you need to use security bolts to firmly attach the hasp to the shed and shed door. You can use security screws, but these can be ripped out of wood door or frame with a pry bar.
By using bolts with a steel plate on the other side of the door will make it much harder to rip the hasp off of your shed.
5. Doors, Door Frames
Hollow core doors are practically useless when it comes to providing security for your shed.
Not only is it virtually impossible to install any form of lock that can’t be ripped out of the door, a dedicated crook can simply break through the door. You can reinforce the door lock area with a brass or steel plate, but again the rest of the door is easily destroyed.
Use a good solid wood door if you want real protection. Never cut corners by drilling the hole for the locking bar in the frame and not installing the metal plate that comes with it. Here again, this makes it much easier for a thief to break open your shed door.
What You Need to Know about the Various Types of Shed Locks
There are essentially six different types of door lock you can use to secure your shed, each of which has their own benefits and issues you should consider.
Long before you make your final choice, you need to be well-aware of the intended use of each lock and the types of doors and windows they can be used to secure.
Here is what I found out about these six popular forms of door lock to help you find the right one to secure your shed and everything in it.
- The most common form of shed lock
People have been using padlocks to secure just about anything, including sheds since time in memorial. This, however, does not mean they are your best bet.
To start with, if you are going to use a padlock, you need to be sure the hasp is secured to the door and frame using security bolts or screws. Secondly, you need to buy a padlock that is virtually impossible to pick or cut through.
This is going to cost you a bit more than the average lock, but you will find your money well spent.
- A good way to secure your shed if you have the right shed
Deadbolts are typically found being used to secure homes, not sheds. But, they do have their uses if your shed has a solid door and strong frame.
Unlike a hasp and padlock setup, deadbolts do require precision installation and the right tools to install them. Once installed they are a relatively strong way to secure your shed.
Your best bet is to buy a deadbolt that requires a key on either side. The deadbolts with a twist knob can be opened by someone who has broken out a window and crawled inside your shed.
3. Door Handles with Built-in Locks
- Not the best way to secure your shed
Door handles that have their own built-in locks are great for bedroom doors or house doors with a deadbolt installed.
So, if you are going to install a door handle with a built-in lock, you should be prepared to install a deadbolt for added security. These locks range in price from cheap and ineffective too expensive and more effective.
Do yourself a favor and buy a double cylinder lock to maximize your security.
4. Doors with Built-in Cylinder Locks
- Not much better than door handles with built in locks
You can also install a cylinder type lock directly in your door, if it didn't come with one already installed.
The problem is, that just like door handles with built-in locks, these locks are not very secure and can be easily picked or kicked in. And just like those door handles with locks, you should plan to install a deadbolt for added security.
Many of these types of locks can be opened using a screwdriver or in worst case scenarios with a simple credit card.
5. Electronic Locks
- What will you do when the battery dies
Electronic locks are becoming increasingly popular in many do-it-yourself storage facilities. But at the same time, they are not always the best choice when you are trying to find a good way to secure your garden shed.
While many of the most expensive ones are fully waterproof, beware of the cheaper ones as they may not be and if they short out, you will have to cut them off.
Also, consider what you are going to do if the batteries die or the power goes out.
6. Combination Locks
- Decent locks, but only as long as you can remember the combination
Like standard key locks, combination locks are only as good as the money you are willing to invest in them.
You really do get what you pay for when you buy any type of padlock. The biggest problem with any kind of combination lock is that you have to remember the combination. Along with this, you also have to consider whether or not you will be able to cut the lock off if you lose the combination.
In the end, it is up to you to decide what type of lock is likely to provide the best possible level of security. Personally, I have a solid wood door on my shed with both a high-end door handle with built-in lock and a deadbolt.
My shed is not only my workshop loaded with expensive tools, but it also houses my motorcycle and several bicycles. Along with good quality locks, I have tinted the windows and added an alarm system.
My goal is to never have to worry about someone breaking in again and to date, I am one of the few homes in my area that has not had their shed broken into.
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