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2016 – Another year with no thefts from our bike sheds or garden sheds!

5th January 2017

We are delighted that another year has passed without any reports of successful forced entries into our Daylight Secure sheds, confirming our claim that our bike storage sheds and garden sheds are the most secure sheds available.

Three customers reported attempted entries during the year:

The first was an attempt to enter the door and the back wall. The gel-coating on a rear panel was marked as evidence of the attempt but that was the limit of the damage. The door was marked with some scratches but that was also the limit of the damage. The customer touched up the scratches.

The second attempt was a more serious one. The hopeful thieves were unsuccessful on their attempt at the door which was discovered the following morning by the customer, but they then returned the second night for another go! The door suffered damage at the lower corner but they were unable to prise the locks. The door had to be replaced which was completed by our installation team within 48 hours.

The third attempt was  against a Max Strongroom roof. Needless to say they got nowhere with that and the noise made by the roof (similar to hitting a drum!) soon encouraged them to depart especially when lights were switched on by the customers and neighbours awakened by the noise.

There was one other incident that we never got to the route of. I received a call from a rather hysterical woman one morning claiming that someone had tried to enter her shed and that it was our fault and asked what we were going to do about it. I did try to get a word in explaining that we cannot control the actions of others but the shed had done its job and prevented the contents from being stolen. I am not sure if this was heard, or understood; I did not get her name but gathered that her husband was away and she wanted me to stop the person from coming back! I heard no more and can only assume that the husband returned and did not think the incident required any further action.

So, another year and all is well, proving once again that a Daylight Secure is a wise investment.


Police Confirm Shed Theft Low Priority

12th June 2015

Human silhouette with flashlight in shadow on wood background, with space for text or image.

Avon and Somerset police have confirmed that theft from houses and garden sheds is a low priority. Speaking on BBC Radio Somerset Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour confirmed that in the 12 months ending March 2015 90% of burglars are not brought to justice, an increase of nearly 5% on the previous 12 months.
In common with other forces the rise in reported rape, domestic violence and child abuse is consuming an increasing part of their investigations budget resulting in lesser offences such as burglary being moved further down the list.
The time has come when it really is up to the householder to protect their property, and that includes the garden shed. The team at BRE that tested the construction of our DaylightSECURE for the ACPO Secured by Design standard claimed it takes an average of only twelve seconds to break into a wooden garden shed and many of the cheaper ones can be entered in far less. One officer of the Secured by Design team described cheap wooden sheds as “four fence panels with some felt on top”!
Of course nothing is fool proof against professional thieves, the recent break in at Hatton Gardens demonstrates this, but it is the amateur or opportunist thief that accounts for the majority of shed thefts. Padlocked hasps and staples, windows and exterior hinges present little difficulty to a stout screwdriver, and of course windows allow thieves the opportunity to see what is worth stealing before any entry is attempted.
But spare a thought for the Italians. I recently took an enquiry from an Italian gentleman resident between Milan and Bologna who informed me that burglary crime has increased by 40% in just one year. He has had two motorcycles stolen and a neighbour has lost six bicycles. Although the blame is targeted at Italy’s expanding migrant population the fact is that Europe offers a huge market for stolen goods and valuable bikes can provide a high illegal income. The chances are that most of the valuable bikes and garden machinery stolen in the UK are transported in vans and sold in Europe.
Houses are vulnerable to burglaries and I am amazed how many cyclists keep their prized machines in their house. Not only is it inconvenient (just ask their wives!) but the security is generally not that high. Every window is an entry point, particularly windows at the rear, and some of the wooden framed doors offer little protection to a stout lever. It comes as no surprise to me that insurance companies are asking for owners to provide better security before taking on the risk.
Ground anchors in sheds and garages are a favourite request from insurers. Here at Brodco we offer our ‘Goliath’ ground anchor that will deter the most hardened thief. Some say that it’s strong enough to anchor a ship to! We generally recommend to customers that they paint it bright yellow or similar to make it really visible. Anyone seeing the anchor, particularly anyone who can see into the shed when the door is open will immediately rule the shed out as a possible target for theft.
Unless police budgets go up substantially, as likely as an increase in flying pigs, the situation will not improve. At least our customers can have peace of mind knowing they have purchased the UK’s most secure shed.


TPR v Concrete

23rd April 2015

TPR – an alternative to concrete?

Click here to see how TPR can help the environment

The earth’s natural resources are not finite, and yet consumers are placing spiralling demands raw materials.
Manufacturing consumes energy and many produce pollutants. One of the worst is the manufacture of cement which accounts for a high percentage of the world’s CO2 production (see the infographic). Buildings are using a more and more cement in their production and our government is calling for more building.
Not only are we extracting raw materials at an alarming rate, we are piling our waste back into the earth at huge landfill sites across the UK
Published results show that the UK sent 70% of post-consumer plastic to landfill in 2013, one of the worst performers in Europe. The current trend suggests that it is most unlikely that the UK will achieve the goals set by the EU. Although PET plastic (used in milk bottles) is now achieving recycling success it is the mixed polymer plastics that cannot be recycled cost effectively that is the major concern. TPR is manufactured using traceable, non-toxic mixed polymer plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill. The innovative manufacturing process does not require the high energy input generally associated with recycling plastic which is why it is supported by the Carbon Trust.


Which Garden Shed?

31st March 2015

Garden Sheds – a Buyers Guide

There are many sheds on the market made from different materials, and there is a place for each of them. The deciding factors as to which is best for you will come down to just two key points – what do you want a garden shed for and how much you can afford.

What do you want a garden shed for?

You may think this to be a stupid question, but it is your starting point. Will it be used for storage, and if so how valuable are the items and are they perishable; will they be affected by damp? Will you use your shed just for storage, or for gardening tasks, as an office, or as a den to hide away? Whatever your reasons keep them in mind when reading the remainder of this guide.

Cost

There is an old saying, ‘Always buy the best you can afford’, and this certainly applies to garden sheds. Consider not only the cost of the shed but include the installation of a concrete base (always the best) or paving, delivery charges, and installation costs. And of course check if VAT is included, particularly if you are buying direct from a timber mill.

Most retailers and particularly garden centres include a 40% profit margin in the price you pay. If possible buy direct from the manufacturer to get the best value.

 

Security

It is surprising how much the value of a sheds contents can amount to. Years ago it was several hundred pounds, but today it is more likely to be several thousand pounds. You should make a check on the value of the items you store in the shed. Thieves do not discriminate between rural and urban areas, any shed is game, and the least secure it looks the more likely they are to break in.

Some sheds may be advertised as high security, but if it has a padlock or windows thieves will be in in seconds. The average shed break in takes only twelve seconds. Consider how much noise would be required to break in. Windows can be broken with just one strike, a tyre lever can wrench a hasp and staple or a hinge from a wooden door with just one pull; all the noise is over in a flash and no-one pays any attention. If the thief has to make several strikes it becomes too noisy and they move on, they do not like noise. Make sure none of the screws and bolts that hold the shed together are accessible from outside the shed, if they are a thief will have an easy time and make no noise at all!

A light directed at the shed and switched by movement may be helpful at night, but most thefts occur during daylight hours.

 

Maintenance

Cheap wooden sheds, and some of the expensive ones, are made from soft, fast growing timber that soon starts to degrade. You will need to make regular checks for any structural damage to the walls or roof after any extreme weather and act quickly before the contents are damaged. Felt roofing requires more battens than are generally supplied, and sheds that are nailed or stapled together should have the fixings replaced with brass screws. Treat all timber with paint or stain at least every two years to help it last for the period of the guarantee.

Longevity

Unless you decide to build your own shed from scratch it should come with a manufacturers guarantee. This will provide you with some idea of how long the shed will last provided you perform the maintenance required and it is not otherwise damaged from the weather or thieves. If it does become damaged are replacement parts or panels available?

 

Condensation

If you need to store anything that could be damaged by rust or suffer from mildew in damp conditions you need to think hard about the material your shed is built from. When the air is cooler outside than it is inside and has above average humidity condensation will form. Steer clear of anything that is not a good insulator, steel in particular is a magnet for condensation, and plastic sheds also suffer badly. The condensation than adds to the humidity in the shed. It is unlikely that condensation will form on the inside of a wooden shed, but the wood does absorb any moisture which can keep contents damp and is ideal conditions for mildew.

Make sure there is good ventilation. Consider installing a fan to keep the air moving if the problem persists, condensation does not form in moving air.

 

Sustainability

\any timber used should be sourced from responsibly manged forests. Other substances such as wood stain, metal and plastic have an environmental cost, particularly if they have to be replaced every few years.

 

Position

If you are replacing an old shed you should consider if you want the new one in the same position. How will it impact on the rest of the garden space, the ease of access, will there be sufficient airflow to minimise condensation? Can it be seen from the road or watched from the house?

 

Appearance

A new shed will always look its best, but how will it look in a few years’ time? Do you want the shed to ‘disappear’ into the background or do you want it to be a feature?

 

Construction

What material is best? The options are wood, steel, brick, TPR and plastic.

 

Wood

New wood always looks smart, but it does need looking after. There is a huge range in prices for wooden sheds so you should find something to suit your budget. Try to avoid the cheapest, you would probably have to retrieve it from your neighbours’ garden after the first storm! Consider the limited lifespan and the high maintenance required. Wood breathes, that means it moves with the changing weather; doors and windows can become a problem to close or fasten. Hardwood sheds will overcome some of the problems associated with the softwood ones and will require less maintenance, but be prepared to spend mega money for the best hardwood shed.

Value           1/10 – 6/10

Appearance 2/10 – 9/10

Security       2/10

Available from garden centres, timber mills and on-line.

 

Steel

Steel sheds are generally more secure than wooden ones provided they have a good quality built-in locking system and not just a padlock. They are maintenace free but cannot be drilled without affecting the guarantee and they suffer badly from condensation.

Value           3/10 – 5/10

Appearance 5/10

Security        2/10 – 7/10

Available from various retailers, garden centres and on-line.

 

 

TPR

TPR is a modern composite that’s a sustainable alternative to concrete without the disadvantes of concrete. Life expectany is over 100 years and it is maintenance free. Most models weigh over a ton when assembled. Impessive security features and the only garden building to have passed the police Secured by Design award. Expensive, but includes delivery and installation. You get what you pay for.

Value           9/10

Appearance 9/10

Security       10/10

Available exclusively from www.brodco.co.uk

 

Brick

A permanent structure may seema a good solution, however the doors, roof and windows can suffer the same maintenance problems as with other sheds. Condensation may be a problem and it will not be cheap either.

Value           3/10

Appearance 7/10

Security        5/10

Available from local builders built to your specification.

 

Plastic

If you are trying to keep costs down plastic could be an option. They’re not pretty, good for the environment or secure, but they are maintenace free. Expect it to last a few years unless there are any big storms or hot weather in the summer.

Value           2/10

Appearance 1/10

Security        1/10

Available from various retailers, garden centres and on-line.

 

Self Build

If you are confident in your DIY skills and fancy a challenge there are plenty of designs available fro free on the internet. You could end up with a bespoke shed ideal for your needs, or you could end up with something completely different! If you decide to take on a self build project prepare your budget carefully, then add at least 10% for the unexpected costs.

Value           Varies

Appearance Varies

Security        Varies

Avilable from www.secretsofshedbuilding.com and www.coolhouseplans.com


4 Steps to Secure Your Motorbike

8th March 2015

Motorcycles can be very attractive to thieves. In the UK, motorcycles account for just 1% of all traffic, and yet 1 in 5 of all vehicle thefts. How do you avoid you bike becoming a statistic?

Read More…


Home Security

1st March 2015

Crime costs more than just money. Did you know that crime produces more than 12.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year? That’s around 2% of the UK’s entire CO2 output.

Those affected by crime often suffer a great deal of stress and trauma. Brodco is a member of Secured by Design (SBD), which offers this advice to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

The Burglar’s Point of View

Most burglars are opportunists. They will attack a home when they think they will get away with it. When the lights are off and they can’t see any sign of security, they are far more likely to break in.

Try looking at your home from a burglar’s point of view. Could you get in if you lost your keys? Check for areas where they could enter without being seen or making a lot of noise.

Read More…


How Green Is Your Shed?

14th February 2015

These days we all like to do our best for the environment, but what is the greenest option for your new garden shed? We take a look at three materials: timber, concrete and TPR.

Timber

The vast majority of garden sheds are made from timber, largely because it is cheap. Softwood is most commonly used, which is faster growing and better for the environment than hardwood and usually comes from responsibly managed forests.

However it degrades quickly and is treated with strong chemicals to lengthen its life. These harmful substances will leach into the soil over time, and when the wood rots, the shed will need to be replaced.

Replacing a shed makes a significant carbon footprint, which will include the wood being harvested and processed, the shed being manufactured, transportation at every stage and even disposal of the old shed.

Read More…