For most of us, landscaping your yard is considered a mainly arbitrary or cosmetic cost for fun, enjoyment, and outdoor entertainment. However, more people are looking into other security options due to recent privacy and fire hazard concerns of home alarm systems. Instead, homeowners are interested in how simple landscaping adjustments can deter burglars and help protect their home.*
When considering ways to block unwanted visitors from accessing your property, your first thought may be to install the tallest fence you can find. However, experts say that this may not be the best idea. A tall perimeter may hinder initial entry, but they provide excellent coverage from any visibility on the inside. If you want privacy or need to keep kiddos or pets within your property, choose a see-through fence or small shrubs that aren't very tall. The goal is to balance privacy needs yet still allow a clear line of sight to your house from the street.
As for shrubbery, there are plenty of arguments both for and against the security provided by shrubs. We don't advise a thick hedge as a perimeter along your property. However, if that is your current situation, the key is to keep up with maintenance. Make sure your larger shrubs or bushes aren't creating perfect hiding places, and trim them regularly.
Similarly, large trees with long limbs next to your house provide ideal "ladders" to second-story entrances, so we recommend cutting those as well. Whether or not you have large or bushy trees, consistent mowing, weeding, raking, and other lawn maintenance shows any potential casers that you are home often.
Along with keeping your greenery trimmed, cleaning up can also prevent burglars from having a hay day. If any toys or tools are lying around, a perpetrator could easily use them to break windows and doors. Bats, shovels, and rakes could also be used as weapons. Removing clutter below window sills is a great way to limit access.
You could also plant beautiful rose bushes. Thorn bushes are a valid option around your home or landscape to act as deterrents, but even gravel can work. Since walking on gravel creates noise, it helps eliminate any open invitations for theft. You can use crushed rocks as your driveway, garden pathway, or to mark your property line!
As mentioned, unobstructed visibility of your property from the street is essential. At night, this requires ample lighting. Install motion-activated security lighting in front of garages and sheds. Solar pathway lights and porch lighting are also crucial to avoid dark areas and shed light on entry points. Many of our larger projects include up-lighting on larger outdoor elements or trees, illuminating otherwise dim spots. An added bonus is the luxurious aesthetic that these lights provide!
Regardless of whether you intend to completely re-design your landscape or not, gaining insight into how to protect your property is always a good idea. Simply being aware is an important part of keeping you and your community safe!
How does your landscape keep burglars away?
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*Alderwood Landscaping provides these tips with the disclaimer that the steps recommended in this article, while helpful in possibly deterring theft and unwanted visitors, are not a guarantee of you or your home's safety