Living in an area with a high crime rate or simply worried about the valuables you don’t keep in your house? Keep burglars out of outside buildings like backyard sheds and out of vehicles by practicing these simple security tactics.
Doors Are as Good as Their Locks
Having sturdy-looking doors is a deterrent to most criminals, but if you’ve got a thief who’s determined to get inside, even a door that appears strong will fail if you’ve got easily broached locks. We often prioritize the doors and locks on our homes, thinking that’s where most burglars will head, while leaving outbuildings, trailers and other external structures with lesser quality units.
However, it’s easy to install high security locks on cargo trailers, sheds, warehouses and any other door you don’t want unauthorized people entering. Some of these high-security products are also easily removed or portable, so you can choose when you need to lock a building up tight and when you don’t.
In barns and trailers that have double-door entries that lock in the middle, one side of the door is usually weaker than the other. Eliminate this vulnerability with a deadbolt snapping into the floor or ceiling on the weaker door.
Make Your Property Unattractive to Thieves
Even if you live in an area of the United States where property crime rates are regrettably high, there are plenty of things you can do to make your place as unpalatable to burglars as possible. Though we like to believe that crooks are stupid, most are smart enough to avoid being caught.
With that in mind, think of ways to install motion-activated prevention tools on your property. Lights to illuminate doors when someone walks by, alarms or other loud noises triggered by someone’s presence and clearly noticeable security cameras are three suggestions for security that will discourage most thieves from even attempting to break into your property, even if the vehicle or building is set apart from the house or in a lot that’s not occupied at night.
Additionally, take care of what you leave outside the doors to your vehicles and units. Parking your rig under a shady tree is a good idea in the daytime, but a bad idea if you want to protect it from people trying to break in to the back. Trees, bushes, fences, alleys, tall grass and other debris make plenty of shadows and convenient hiding spots for thieves hoping to thwart your security measures. Worse, sometimes trees, fences and the like can be used as erstwhile ladders, so criminals can hoist themselves onto roofs, up to second-floor windows and through vents and thus penetrate the interior of your building without having to use the door.
Don’t Provide the Tools
You wouldn’t leave the door open to your storage shed while valuables were inside, right? Leaving a ladder, crowbar, axe, shovel or other tool outside that could be used to break in to your property is almost like leaving a greeting card on the stoop asking thieves to come on in. While professional criminals will probably bring their own tools, plenty of property crimes are opportunistic in nature, and by leaving ladders and the like outdoors where any one can use them, you’re providing plenty of opportunity.
Keep in mind that many, many of the home invasions reported in the United States are ones in which the thief did not have to forcibly enter — the culprit had a key. It doesn’t matter if it’s your house or your warehouse, in either case you need to protect your property by first protecting the keys to your doors. If a key is lost, it’s worth the expense to change your locks and get new keys. For smaller operations, if you must hide a spare key somewhere on the property for safekeeping, don’t keep it in an easily guessable place. In fact, it’s much better to give your spare keys to a person you trust rather than a flowerpot.
With a little extra work and some common sense, your outdoor structures and vehicles can be as safe as a fort.