Locking your bike up on the street with a high quality lock is a no brainer but do you apply the same security when your bike is stored at home?
With 69% of bike thefts occurring in or around the owner's home this often forgotten side to bike theft needs to be given some serious thought. So what sort of precautions should you be taking?
Be aware of your surroundings
On your way home be careful about who is watching. It’s not unknown for thieves to find a bike they like the look of and follow it to the owner's residence so they can come back later.
In a similar vein it’s also important to ensure that your Strava privacy settings are correct (should you be a user of the popular exercise app), not just that there is a perimeter around your house that isn’t logged but that you have enhanced privacy turned on so that your regular routes aren’t published for the whole world to see.
Secure your shed/garage
Little has changed in the security world as far as sheds/garages go – read our tips on bike shed security. Garage security is a little different but essentially boils down to fitting more/better quality locks and either using a door defender (although some would argue that this advertises you’ve got something worth stealing; aging a new lock may be worthwhile in this case) or parking your car up against the door.
The only recent additions are the availability of CCTV cameras that can send decent quality images directly to an email address when they detect motion – coupled with a smart phone this can provide a bit of peace of mind.
Just like when you leave your bike on the street it’s important to lock it to an immovable (or close to it) anchor point.
Floor/wheel anchors are available from around £14.99 and relatively easy to fit but failing that use your street lock to secure your bike to shelves, a mower or any other large items that together become a nightmare to move. A big clump of bikes or other assorted large implements don’t make for an easy getaway.
Don’t arm the thief
One of the reasons thieves prefer to take bikes from sheds and garages is because they can simply pick up the tools when they get to their target so as to avoid the risk of being charged with 'going equipped'.
So avoid this by storing away your tools separately to your bikes, if possible, and out of sight is a good start.
Unlike when you lock your bike on the street, it’s unlikely that someone is going to knock your bike without a good reason. An alarmed padlock (available for less than a tenner; I use an APC01 Heavy Duty Alarm Padlock) to attach round your bike's chain ring is well worth the small investment.
If you can take it into your home
Frankly, the above methods only get you so far – the only real way to maximise the safety of your bike is to take it into your flat or house.
John Moss of Stolen Bikes UK