Garden offices have become increasingly popular due to changes to working practices, commuting patterns and the COVID19 pandemic. Working from home in a dedicated garden office has many advantages. However, as a result, these offices have become a target for burglars.

Whilst most are well constructed, with multi-layers of timber and insulation, the doors and windows are always going to be the main target to gain entry. Opportunist theft is the biggest threat to your garden office, so it’s really important the doors and windows are tested and importantly certificated to withstand an attack.

All doors and windows shown on the SBD website are able to withstand attack methods commonly used by burglars and hundreds of products on our website meet the PAS 24:2016 requirement. If you are thinking of installing a new garden office, it’s worth asking the manufacturer if the doors and windows are tested and certificated to PAS24:2016 - if they don’t comply, ask why?

Buying a garden office is an expensive outlay and our advice is to put in the right doors and windows when it is constructed, as the extra cost is minimal.

If you already have an office and the windows and doors are not as secure as you would like, there are many additional retro-fitted locks available on the market.

Removable Equipment

All offices have valuable equipment – anything small and portable and that can be easily concealed are favourites with burglars. Laptops and mobile phone are easily removed and shouldn’t be left in the garden office overnight and they may also hold personnel and commercially sensitive information.

Going Away

Although it may not be practical to remove printers and computer screens on a daily basis, if you are going on holiday or will be away from the office for an extended period, consider storing them in the house. Where it is not practical to move things from the office, consider using a strong lockable box or cabinet in which you can securely store such items. Where possible, this feature should be securely fixed to a solid floor or structure to prevent easy removal.

Keep it hidden

Keep valuables out of sight by fitting blinds to the windows and doors and keep them closed when the room isn’t being used.

Mark your property

Security marking your office IT equipment using an SBD recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is another highly effective and visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft.

Insurance

If your company provides your IT equipment you may have a policy on home working and the security of the IT equipment – be sure to find out. Check that you have adequate cover under your household insurance for theft from your garden and outbuildings, including garden offices. Some policies may not cover items that are used for work, so you may need to either extend your policy or ask your employer for cover to be included under their commercial policy.

Boundaries and access

Follow our advice on the ‘Securing your Garden’ guide and make sure that your fencing or hedging is in good condition. Ask yourself this simple question; could I get into my garden from outside? If the answer is yes, you have probably found your security weakness.

CCTV

Technology which allows you to monitor your home and property has changed considerably in recent years. The Internet of Things [IOT] now includes Wi-Fi doorbells and camera systems. These can be linked to your phone and tablet to alert you to any activation and view your property in real time. The installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) which can be linked to your television or video to view your garden office is an alternative.
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