Securing Shed Doors

Shed Door Closed - Securing Shed Doors

Introduction

ERA Hasp & Staple
Hasp & Staple of the type cut open on two of my sheds

In 1997 both of my sheds were burgled. I thought I’d made them secure enough. I’d used hasps with the thickest staples I could find on the market (similar to these) and disc padlocks with hardened shackles. But the burglars cut through each staple in two places making a gap through which the padlock shackle could pass. My advisers suggested the burglar used a hydraulic bolt cropper. The burglar cut through steel as thick as a man’s little finger. So I took securing shed doors very seriously and made immediate improvements.

While on the subject of sheds why not take a look at my post about putting a “Radio Controlled Wall Clock In My Shed”. — HC

Securing Shed Doors On My Old Sheds

Securing shed doors on my two old sheds required serious reinforcement of the woodwork and inaccessible staples and locks. I needed to prevent another burglary by the same means.

I reinforced the back of the doors with 4 inch x 2 inch timber on both hinge and lock sides. The timber ran from top to bottom of the door to try to prevent the doors from being bowed and twisted.

I fixed three noggings of timber to the hinge side 4 inch x 2 inch timber. These hooked around the shed frame (jamb) when the doors were closed. That prevented the doors being removed by unscrewing the strap hinges which, as with most sheds, are fixed on the outside.

Both sheds were secured with two locks each, one of which was a disc padlock under a shrouded Lullington hasp. The other locks were the originals. On one shed I had a mortise rim lock and on the other another hasp and staple with a traditional padlock.

So far so good. In 20 years there has been one unsuccessful attempt to my knowledge. Someone had unscrewed the hinges on one shed but failed to open the door.

Most people with a shed know that their hinges have exposed screws that a thief can easily undo using a screwdriver. To prevent a screwdriver being used I filled my screw heads with P38 polyester filler.  I found it’s a nuisance putting 12 screws back in the hinges after a failed burglary attempt. Luckily I haven’t needed to take my hinges off, so that decision wasn’t too bad.

Over many years strap hinges used on shed doors can go rusty between the wood and the hinge. They might then need removing to repaint or replace them. – HC

Summing Up

The improvements I made to my previous shed doors involved:

  • reinforcing the door to prevent it being easily twisted and pried open with a crow bar,
  • installing The Lullington Hasp (shrouded hasp) so that a bolt cropper cannot access the padlock,
  • preventing the door from being opened on the hinge side if the hinge screws are removed,
  • installing a burglar alarm.

Securing My New Shed Door

During some home improvements in 2016 I disposed of my two old sheds and acquired a new one which I put in a different location. Before I could transfer the contents of the old sheds to the new I had to secure the door on the new shed.

First I concentrated the valuable items into one old shed. Then I removed the Lullington Hasp from the other one and installed it on the new shed. Since the new shed door has a frame around the edge I found it simpler to secure it. See the details below.

Securing The Lock Side of Shed Doors

The Lullington Hasp Closed - Securing Shed Doors
The Lullington Hasp – Closed

Using Lullington Hasps For Securing Shed Doors

I won’t beat about the bush, The Lullington Hasp is the best hasp and staple I’ve seen for securing shed doors with a padlock. I think serious damage would have to be done to the shed and door to break it open.

In the 20 years I’ve had this in use I’ve only seen one in use elsewhere and that was on a door at Ecco Sheds and Pigeon Lofts the company that built my new shed.

I remember it was expensive, in 1997, (from Homebase if I remember correctly) at about £17. I’m sure it could be obtained in left and right hand versions but I could only get it built this way around at the time.

The Lullington Hasp Open - Securing Shed Doors
The Lullington Hasp – Open

The picture above shows the Lullington hasp in the open position. The hasp is sold with a heavy-duty staple welded to a strong plate having four bolt holes. On my original shed the plate couldn’t be positioned satisfactorily so I used a galvanised eye bolt on the door.

Fitting The Hasp And Eyebolt

When I moved the hasp to this new shed I didn’t have the original staple to hand and I expected to have the same problem, so I used the old eye bolt again. Below you can see its retaining nut and washer on the inside of the door:

Inside Door - Securing Shed Doors
Inside the shed door the eye bolt is secured with a nut and washer.
Wood Screws & Bolts
Coach Bolt

The hasp is held in place with four coach bolts with nuts and washers on the inside of the shed framework as seen here:

Inside Frame - Securing Shed Doors
Inside the shed frame the hasp is secured with nuts and washers.

NOTE: It is just an illusion that the nuts appear at different heights. The two frame pieces have different depths from the outside skin of the shed and the bolts are cut to different lengths. So the downward angle I took the picture at makes them appear like this.

One of the difficulties encountered when fitting hasps and staples is finding the best location to mount them.

Issues when fitting are:

  1. Nails holding the shed frame together and holding the board skin on have to be avoided when drilling holes.
  2. Holes can’t be made too near the edge of timber or the wood will break easily when attacked.

These are reasons why the staple welded to a plate cannot easily be used and an eyebolt is easier to fit. I did find the eyebolt only just fitted through the rectangular hole in the hasp after I filed it down to size.

Using A Disc Padlock With A Lullington Hasp

If a disc padlock is used, like the one shown below (7cm dia. x 2.4cm thick), when securing shed doors with a Lullington hasp it isn’t possible to present a bolt cropper to the padlock or staple/eye bolt.

The hasp steel isn’t flimsy and although this one looks a bit rough around the edges I must point out it has been in continual outdoor use since 1997 and hasn’t yet been repainted. I moved it to the new shed in 2016 and repainting will soon take place.

The Lullington Hasp With Disc Padlock & Keys - Securing Shed Doors
The Lullington Hasp With Disc Padlock & Keys

There is one small complication when using a disc padlock. It has to be applied backwards. By that I mean the keyhole must face the shed door. It cannot be fitted with the key facing outwards as you would normally expect. There isn’t enough space within the hasp shroud to have the key presented to the front of the padlock. With the hasp out of the way the picture above shows how the padlock must be attached to get it into position.

With the key facing the door the lock has to be tilted as much as the shroud will allow to engage it with the staple/eye bolt. I haven’t found it too difficult to lock in place but it has to be unlocked blind. I can’t see the keyhole when I am inserting the key and have to use my imagination and touch to present the key correctly. This needs a little practice but once it becomes a regular thing it doesn’t seem too difficult.

Securing Shed Doors On The Hinge Side

Securing The Door Hinge Side - Securing Shed Doors
Securing the hinge side of the door.

With this framed door I built out the thickness of the door edge, with a “padding board” (182cm x 4.5cm x 2cm), to the same thickness as the “framework of the shed at the doorway + 2mm”. The timber used was the “full height of the doorway  –  2cm”. This left a 1cm gap top and bottom. (See the reason for the padding board length.) I Screwed and glued it in place with waterproof adhesive in case it gets wet when the door is open.

I Screwed and glued a similar length of 2cm “wrap around board” (182cm x 8cm x 2cm), to the padding board. It’s wider than the padding board so it protrudes beyond the frame of the door by 3.5cm. This wraps around the shed frame at the doorway when the door is closed.

Having a board which wraps around the shed frame along the entire height of the door spreads any force applied to it if a break-in is attempted.

I used tantalised timber, not to prevent rot but because I had some already to hand. I’ve noticed that tanalised timber is robust and strong with a tight grain. It’s not cheap pine that easily splits along the grain if forced. Using such timber would be pointless here.

The Reason For The Padding Board Length

An attempt to break in at the hinge side might involve removal of the hinge screws. With the hinge side free the door might just drop down, or it might tilt and wedge in the frame of the doorway. The cutting of the padding board length is so that if the door drops down it can’t go very far. The padding board will rest on the sill/step of the doorway and prevent further strain/damage to the door. I prefer any failed burglary attempt to leave the door in good shape for re-fixing.

Author: Helpful Colin

I have a background in telecommunications and a fascination with all things scientific and technical - from physics to electronics, and computing to DIY.

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