Dear Shed Owner,
There has been an increase in shed burglaries in the East Hampshire area and this letter contains some crime prevention advice regarding Shed Safety.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service also supports shed safety by reminding owners to be careful what they store in their sheds.
The police often recover stolen property but frustratingly can not identify the owner. By registering on this simple free website (www.immobilise.com) the police could reunite lots more property with their rightful owner AND convict more offenders.
Thank you in advance for working with us to help reduce crime in your area.
Many people take a great deal of trouble securing their home and property while at the same time leaving valuable garden tools and cycles in a shed that is either unlocked or not maintained.
Items such as tools, power tools and bikes are expensive items to replace. This can also be an open invitation for thieves to use garden implements to break into their house or car.
• Place all tools and garden equipment in locked sheds and garages.
• Secure more expensive items, e.g. mowers, bikes to an anchor point within the shed or garage.
• Mark all items with postcode and record serial numbers. Register the details for free on http://www.immobilise.com
• Take photographs of items such as statues and garden furniture if they are unusual, for easy identification at a later date.
• Fit a shed alarm.
• Keep the structure in good repair.
• Consider covering windows with curtains to obscure the view of the contents.
• Consider external lighting.
• Ensure the garden fences are in good repair between neighbours to prevent unlawful access.
• Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
Rewards for the thief are good. Property stored in allotment stores can in many cases total £100 if not £1000’s.
Often sheds sited on isolated allotments are left insecure and garden tools are not secured within, especially after a busy session in the allotment.
• Set up an Allotment Association if you don’t belong to one
• When considering new fencing, if possible avoid chain link which is inherently weak. Weld mesh is preferable.
• Consider the positions of stores and sheds. Can a thief breaking in be seen from neighbouring properties or by passing cars and pedestrians?
• Shed alarms or a wireless alarm can be a useful deterrent, however only if it is audible by neighbouring properties or passing pedestrians.
• Shed or stores made from metal are recommended as they may be more robust than wood. Reclaimed cargo containers are also a consideration.
• Display signage warning criminals that property on the site is marked and traceable.
• Undertake a “Property Marking Weekend” for your members. Mark all your property with a UV marker pen, indelible ink, and engraving.
• Ensure your Property serial numbers are registered for free on http://www.immobilise.com
If you see anyone acting suspiciously or have any information relating to people suspected of committing crimes, please call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non emergency.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this crime prevention advice.
The following is a Shed Fire Safety message from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Shed Fire Safety
HFRS is supporting Shed safety by reminding people to be careful what they store in their sheds and other outbuildings.
Many people keep substances such as paint, petrol and gas cylinders, including LPG and acetylene, in their sheds and outbuildings without realising the potential dangers. In the event of a fire, these substances can explode, posing a serious risk to life and property. Acetylene cylinders (commonly used in welding) are the most hazardous of all and the risk of acetylene exploding remains for up to 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished.
Reduce the risk of a fire in your shed or outbuilding by following these simple tips:
• Make sure hazardous substances are stored securely in approved containers.
• Only store what you need to use – dispose of any unwanted chemicals correctly and return empty cylinders to the manufacturer (details are on the shoulders of the cylinder).
• Reduce the risk of deliberate fire and theft by keeping your shed or outbuilding in a good state of repair and secure. Consider directing a security light onto it as a deterrent.
• Take care with electrical items such as TVs and radios – look out for signs of dangerous or loose wiring and never overload sockets. Unplug appliances when not in use.
• Never put a barbecue into a shed while it is still hot as it can easily cause a fire.
Community Safety Manager
East Hampshire District Council