Is Your Shed Locked?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Sometimes, it’s the little stuff that can get us, especially when it comes to home security. Break-in artists are counting on you making a mistake, allowing them to get into your home. The more obvious mistakes that people make are leaving doors and windows unlocked; but those are not by far the only ones we make.

We must come to the realization that our homes aren’t as secure as we think they are. A lot of what we call home security is based on the premise that burglars don’t want to do anything which would make noise and attract attention to themselves. Breaking glass makes noise, so they try to avoid breaking glass. Kicking open a door is risky because it might be seen by a neighbor, even if it doesn’t make a lot of noise. On the other hand, popping a sliding-glass door off the tracks isn’t risky, because of the home’s privacy fence shielding the criminal from view.

Of course, the security measures that we think make our home secure only work if we’re living in a neighborhood where there are others to hear and notice criminals trying to break into our homes. If you happen to live in the country or even more than a block from your closest neighbors, chances are that they wouldn’t hear or notice anything amiss at your home. That criminal can break glass or kick in the door with impunity, knowing that nobody will be calling the police to report it.

“But where are they going to get the tools to break in?” you might ask. Valid question. Other than a crowbar, I don’t think most burglars carry around tools with them, certainly not a toolbox worth. And considering that they try to avoid making noise, they may not even carry around a crowbar.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have access to tools though. A lot of people have a shed in the backyard, where they keep lawn and garden tools. In other words, tools that might be useful for breaking into a house. While those might be noisy methods of getting in; there are cases where noise isn’t an issue, as we’ve already discussed.

But that’s not all that we should be concerned about. Tools are expensive, especially good tools. Things like chainsaws and even lawnmowers can be hocked. While the thief might not get what they’re worth, whatever they get is profit. Not only that, but the chances of recovery are slim to none, especially considering that few of us bother to engrave those tools or write down the serial numbers. So, even if we see one in a hock shop, we can’t prove it’s ours.

If you have workshop tools in your shed, the situation is even worse, as power tools and toolboxes full of tools can be worth a lot of money. There was a time when the only workshop I had was a shed and it was broken into. The thief (who I knew) probably only got $50 for my tools; but it cost me over $500 to replace them.

All that it would take to protect our tools, in most cases, is putting a padlock on the shed door. That probably means adding a hasp as well. Some shed doors only have plastic handles; and while those might have a hole for a padlock, I wouldn’t put much faith in the strength of the plastic.

Adding a hasp isn’t all that difficult, but be sure to put a backing piece in, either made of steel or plywood. The thin aluminum that most sheds are made of isn’t all that strong and a thief could pull the hasp right off the door, pulling the nuts through the metal. The extra precaution of adding a backer can make that impossible. They might bend the door, trying to tear the hasp off; but they probably won’t succeed in breaking in.

Of course, the other option is to avoid keeping tools in the shed. But that requires having someplace else to keep them. the typical location is a garage; but if the home doesn’t have one, that’s out of the question. You’re going to have to make your shed as secure as possible; but it’s worth the effort. Home defense works best with a little planning and preparation, like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand. But it’s ultimately worth the effort.

Dr. Rich

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