The police claim that homes without any security measures are a whopping five times more vulnerable to burglary than those with simple security measures. And it’s not just the main living area of your home that’s at risk, with break-ins to garages and sheds worryingly common. While garages can house your car and/or other valuables, sheds can also contain everything from expensive garden tools to bikes, among other things. In fact, many areas of the country experience spates of shed or garage burglaries in which multiple home-owners are targeted, often in the same street and often more than once. And yet many homeowners don’t keep these areas secure, let alone have an alarm. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best ones for you – so you can find the best alarm with no need to trawl the internet for hours first.

As with any other kind of burglar alarm, the best ones are visible (a deterrent in its own right) and only one of many things you do to protect your garage or shed. Other examples include marking expensive things, such as bikes, lawnmowers or power tools and ensuring your household insurance covers your garage and shed contents.

Dialler alarms – these dial your phone number (or someone else’s if you prefer) when the alarm is triggered.

Smart home-security systems – these let you or a nominated person know when the alarm goes off via your smartphone.

In some cases, yes, but it can be pricey. Usually, a standalone, good quality alarm for your outbuilding is a cheaper, safer and more effective option. Also see our reviews of home security cameras that can be set up around garage and shed areas.

Wireless alarms use battery-powered sensors. These are generally easy to install without professional help – and you can get additional sensors with some of them.

Wired systems need wires running to each sensor to get it working. They tend to be less expensive, but remember you’ll have to fork out to get it installed.

The cheapest alarm in our roundup is under a tenner and the most expensive over £250 for the starter kit. And it’s not as if the cheapest is no-frills as it comes with not one, but two, remote controls. You start paying more for alarms with a greater range, an alarm and a chime, the ability to add extra sensors and smartphone connectivity.

Yale to burglar alarms is like Hoover to vacuum cleaners, so you won’t be surprised to learn that the level of detail on this alarm is impressive – and yet it’s simple to install and use. It works like a traditional burglar alarm in that you set it by typing in the four digit code and disarm it the same way – or by using the contactless tag. And if you want, it can alert you on your phone when triggered.

It’s got a 200m range, so you can protect your shed(s) and other outbuildings all at the same time and the part-arming feature lets you choose specific zones that you want to alarm. Truth is, this is good enough to be used as a house alarm – and many people do just that – but it’s great for outbuildings too, with a nice big Yale sign that you can put up on your exterior wall to show passers by that you’ve taken security seriously.

Key specs – zone control? yes; phone call alerts? yes; battery-powered or wired? wired panel, wireless sensors; volume level: 100dB

You put this in your garage or shed and pick from three modes on the screen – alarm mode will set off a 95dB alarm to frighten off intruders; alert mode will bleep so you know there’s someone there; or you can turn it off altogether, for instance if you’re in your mancave (sorry, shed or garage). It’s part of an expandable system so you can add to it with extra sensors to cover all your outbuildings, all of which are easy to programme and install and which can be programmed to different zones, with a different alert depending on the zone triggered. The wireless range from the sensors to the unit is an impressive 800 feet (that’s just under 250 metres).

On the downside, though, it can – as some customers have themselves reported - detect motion quite far away, yet ignore motion that’s less than a couple of metres away and that inconsistency can be frustrating. And, like many alarms we’ve tested, it can be quite sensitive to things like hedges moving in the wind or birds fluttering by too. We found that by adjusting the sensors, you can fine tune it but it can go off course again over time.

Key specs – zone control? yes; phone call alerts? no; battery-powered or wired? battery; Volume level: 95 dB

This lithium-battery powered garage alarm tells you when your garage door is open. It’s an add-on sensor that you can use with Skylink Long Range Motion Alert Kit (also reviewed in this roundup) and it has the same three modes – alert mode (which bleeps), alarm mode (at 95 dB) or off mode – all of which you select from the lit-up screen.

The range is 800 feet (nearly 250 metres) and it lets you know when the battery is on its way out. It’s easy to set up and integrate with its big brother system and, as with the main system, there are no monthly fees. 

Key specs – zone control? n/a; phone call alerts? no; battery-powered or wired? battery; volume level: 95 dB

This will withstand even the coldest of winters and you can choose between a very loud 110 dB siren and a ‘polite’ (as they call it) chime setting if you want to be informed about anyone going anywhere near your garage or shed. You get two movement sensors (each picking up movement within around six metres), one alarm/chime unit and one remote control (so you can get the system going via the receiver in the house), but you’ll need to buy the batteries yourself.

The range from the sensors to the unit is up to 100 metres and it won’t take you long to set it up and get it going.

Key specs – zone control? no; phone call alerts? no; battery-powered or wired? battery; volume level: 110 dB

This is cheap – seriously cheap - yet it comes with two remote controls and does its job of making a loud (110 dB) noise if movement is detected from within six metres of your garage or shed. It’s a doddle to install, using the fixings and mounting bracket included and you can it to the exact angle to suit you. You’ll need to buy the four AA batteries for the main unit, although they do include on 12v battery for a remote control, which has a five metre range.

It’s not going to set the world on fire with pioneering features and attention to detail, but it’s simple to set up and loud – what more can you ask for at under a tenner?

Key specs – zone control? no; phone call alerts? no; battery-powered or wired? battery; volume level: 110 dB

This stands out for sounding complicated on paper but being surprisingly quick and easy to set up, following the voice prompts from the built-in human voice that you access with the Ezviz app. We also love how it can differentiate between an intruder and a pet, which means Bob the dog or Casper the cat don’t set the alarm off every time they go walking anywhere near the garage. You can add to the kit with a whopping 32 detectors over time (that’s a lot of outbuildings to cover) and you can hook it up to Alexa, as well as use it with smart locks, light blubs, thermostats and other IFTTT compatible smart home devices.

17r Beam Moving Head

There’s a pretty average wireless range of up to 100m from the detectors to the hub. But we think the volume could be louder than 85 dB.

Key specs – zone control? yes; phone call alerts? yes; battery-powered or wired? battery; volume level: 85 db

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