Landscaping for Security
The harder it is for burglars to get into your house, the more likely they will move on to an easier target and bypass your home.
Defensive plantings are one way to make it a less appealing target to criminals.
First Line of Defense
Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity and are not planned ahead of time. Landscaping for home security can be your first line of defense to deter burglars from targeting your home.
Plant to Deter Burglars
Strategic landscaping is one of many ways to make your home less attractive to burglars.
Planting prickly bushes under windows, and keeping vegetation too short to provide cover for a burglar, can be a very effective tool in protecting your home.
Proper lighting can not only add to the curb appeal of your home, but also increase your security.
How can landscaping help protect your home?
While you should not depend on landscaping alone to provide security, there are several ways to use it to your advantage. Thorny bushes such as roses or cacti planted next to your fence and under your windows can be a deterrent to potential burglars. There are around 150 species of roses and over 2,000 species of cacti to choose from!
Hedges can also be used as a barrier around your property, but take care to keep them trimmed low enough not to block visibility from the street or neighbors’ houses. Hedgerows can be affordable to plant and easy to maintain.
Never let shrubbery or trees cover your doors and windows so a burglar could be hidden. Make sure to prune trees away from second floor windows and balconies to prevent an intruder from using them to gain access. Any trellises should also be carefully placed so as not to provide a convenient ladder for a burglar.
Keeping your lawn trimmed and free of debris will let a potential burglar know that you are keeping an eye on your property. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, make sure to arrange for someone to help keep up the yard as well as pick up mail and newspapers. Letting newspapers pile up in front of your house may catch the attention of criminals and put your home at risk.
Another easy tip is to use gravel as a ground cover under windows to warn you if anyone approaches from outside. However, do not place large rocks near glass windows or doors giving burglars an instant opportunity.
Selecting Prickly Plants
Some examples of plants with “teeth” include:
- Pyracantha (the “fire thorn” bush)
- Oregon Grape Holly
- Washington Hawthorn (up to 3” thorns!)
Always check your planting zone to make sure the particular species you select will grow in your region.
One of the best places to plant roses is under windows. This makes it more difficult for intruders to approach your house. But not all roses live up to their thorny reputation, so choose a rose that rivals barbed wire such as the “Voodoo Rose.”
The First Layer of Defense
Next time you are choosing a new plant for your yard keep in mind how landscaping can be used as a way to deter burglars. Make it more difficult for a criminal to approach your house so they are more likely to move on to an easier target.
A multilayered approach to home security is important, but the first layer of defense can be your yard.
Lighting: A Key Component of Security
Proper lighting not only adds to the curb appeal of your home but also increases your security. Though solar powered walkway lights are attractive, they do not typically provide very much light and are mostly decorative. Floodlights placed on all sides of your house keep the visibility high and make it hard for anyone to hide in the shadows. Motion lights let you know if someone approaches. Dusk to dawn automatic lighting is also a great choice for illuminating your home and yard.
Lighting is most important near doors and at the rear of your home where most break-ins occur. Place security lighting up high so it cannot be easily tampered with, but always check to be sure you have not placed any lights that shine into your neighbors’ windows.
TIP: Brighter is not always better. Use only as much illumination as you need. Not only does this practice help conserve energy, but also helps avoid glare and hot spots with dark shadows in between.
Always make sure your address can be easily seen from the street.
Large, reflective or illuminated numbers are best to use so they are easily seen at night. Helping the police find your home as quickly as possible is important in the event of a home break-in.
If you have an alley behind your house it is important to also place your address on your garage or alley side of your house as well, otherwise identifying homes from the back can be very difficult for law enforcement and take valuable time when every second matters.
Do not store ladders outside.
Ladders can provide a very fast and easy tool for burglars to access your windows. If you store ladders or tools that could be used by burglars in your garage, make sure to keep them chained or locked when not in use.
Keep trash cans in your garage.
Leaving trash cans outside can provide a burglar with a way to get over your fence or reach an upstairs window. They can also be used to hide stolen items when the burglar leaves your property.
If a burglar can see from outside that you have a flat screen TV or a laptop, it makes your house very tempting to criminals. Keep these items out of view.
Presented by Safe Neighborhoods, LLC – SafeIndy.com
This information is presented as a courtesy and is not meant as a guarantee that you will never experience crime. That being said, we do hope you learned a few practical tips that you can use to deter burglars from choosing your home as a target.