Being safe in your own home is a priceless feeling. But did you ever think about how your landscaping can enhance your safety?
By taking some simple steps in your yard, you can help protect your home from break-ins. We’re not talking about alarm systems or guard dogs here. The way you design and care for your yard can help deter burglars or mischief-makers.
Of course, it’s tough to deter a determined thief. However, if you follow these tips, you’ll make them think twice and look for an easier target. So let’s dive in! And if you have any more ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Keep Clear Lines Of Site
It’s great to have trees and shrubs around your yard. They can even help keep your home cooler, saving on electricity costs. But you want to make sure they’re positioned well so that there are lines of sight from your house to the street and vice-versa.
If you’re starting from scratch, be sure to leave space between trees. Keep them in positions that won’t hinder your view. Yes, any tree will block a bit of what you can see. But try to avoid those that have wide, low branches and leaves.
Trim Bushes Far Enough From Windows, Doors, And Porches
If you have shrubs near your house, shed, or other buildings, make sure they’re well-trimmed. Keep them low enough or far enough from your windows that they won’t help a prowler hide.
The same is true around porches and doors. Be sure that your beautiful shrubbery allows you to see what’s going on around you.
Stick It To ‘Em
While we’re on the subject of bushes around windows, this is a fantastic place to plant bushes that have thorns or otherwise scratch. No one is going to want to end up scratched all over while trying to get in the window!
Roses bushes are great, but so are firethorn (pyracantha) and bougainvillea. In warm, dry climates, barrel cactus will do a fantastic job. Even Mother-in-law’s Tongue in thick clusters can provide a good enough poke in the arm or legs to discourage troublemakers.
Keep It Looking Cared For
The simple act of caring for your landscaping can help keep the bad guys away, too. When things start to look unkempt, it looks like the home is unoccupied. But if your hedges are trimmed and grass cut, a burglar will worry more that someone is home.
If you’re going to be away for more than two weeks or so, hire someone to trim the lawn. Pause your mail and newspaper delivery. If you’re in the US, you can have the post office hold your mail. The same type of service is available through Canada Post and the UK’s Royal Mail.
Gravel For Noise
Visibility is one key factor in keeping your home safe. But sound can play a role, too.
Gravel walkways can make enough noise that intruders might be intimidated. And gravel in flower beds under windows can make even more noise. It might be enough to warn you that something’s wrong. But the thief has no way of knowing if you’re a heavy sleeper, and they’ll be more inclined to flee if they think there’s a chance you’ve noticed their presence.
Care With Fences
A fence can cut both ways when it comes to security. It can be helpful because a burglar would have to climb over them. At the same time, solid fences can also offer hiding spots for them to hide behind.
It’s a balancing act, ultimately. Fences are good, and you also may want them for other reasons such as privacy or to keep stray animals from wandering through. Climbing the fence may not be hard, but it would expose an intruder more than they would like.
However, do your best to make sure that there aren’t corners where house lights or street lights don’t reach.
Light It Up
Of course, clear lines of sights won’t mean anything if you can’t see in the dark. So it’s important to choose lights wisely for your front and back yards
Solar path lights can provide enough illumination to see if someone is near them. And they don’t drive your electric bill up! Landscape spotlights are also effective, and they usually point upwards rather than down – giving even more light to vulnerable areas.
But that still leaves a large area of your yard unprotected. Movement-activity spotlights are a good idea. Positioned strategically, they can cover the entire area around your house.
Store Your Tools
Finally, don’t forget to keep your tools and equipment secured. And that’s not just so they aren’t stolen!
You likely have a lot of equipment around, and that equipment could be turned against you. A serious burglar may come equipped for the job. But many burglaries arise out of opportunity. Your tools could easily be used to pry open windows or break locks. A ladder may let a thief reach a second-floor deck or a window left open.
Be sure your tools are returned to the garage or shed. If you keep ladders on a truck or under a deck, use a chain and padlock to secure them. It’s not foolproof, but it does discourage spur-of-the-moment attacks.
A beautiful yard and a safe home go hand-in-hand. With these tips, you’ll be able to make your home a less-attractive target for thieves. At the same time, you’re also enhancing how wonderful your outdoor areas look!