How to Landscape Your Way to a Safer Home

Home Exterior

Because over 200,000 homes will be burglarized this year, it’s more important than ever to stop burglaries at the front gate. Fortunately, there’s a lot of great ways to design your exterior to deter home invasion. From well-lit windows and doors to thorny bushes, you have plenty of options, and many of them are both inexpensive and aesthetic.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to landscape your way to a more secure home.

1. Plant Thorny Bushes or Shrubs

Rose bushes are beautiful, but did you know they can also protect your home from intruders? Burglars would rather not deal with thorns when attempting to break into your home.

Plants like the holly bush also feature prickly leaves that deter burglars. The evergreen holly bush is deciduous so it will not lose its leaves in the fall, making it a perfect choice for year around protection.

Other plants to consider include the hawthorn and pyracantha.

Plant these thorny shrubs under first floor windows for an added layer of natural protection.

2. Keep Bushes Trimmed

When you use shrubs to protect your home, you should maintain their height to prevent overgrowth. Some burglars will fight the thorns if the bush can provide cover to hide them. You want the bushes to be short enough to maintain a clear line of sight to your home, but high enough to be annoying to a burglar.

3. Keep Trees Away From Second Floor Windows

Trees can beautify any yard, but having them too close to your home can be a security hazard. A tree planted near a second floor window or entry is an invitation to burglars who don’t mind climbing to get easy access to your home.

4. Get A Watch Dog

Although not a part of your landscape, a watch dog is an outdoor pet that can patrol your property and alert you to intruders. Burglars look for easy targets, and homes with watch dogs are anything but easy.

The best watch dog breeds are Bull mastiffs, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers.

5. Fence Yourself In

If you have a dog, it’s important to have a fence, too. Keep your valuable possessions inside and keep unscrupulous criminals outside.

The best type of fence doesn’t obscure visibility. This is an important feature, because you don’t want a criminal to make it inside of your fence and then be protected from view of your neighbors or passersby. A good fence to use is one with made of iron, and with sharp spikes that dissuade criminals from climbing it.

6. Resurrect Yard Signs

A great way to stop burglars in their tracks is to put up yard signs that show your home is protected by a security system or that your home is part of a neighborhood watch program. Burglars do notice this signs, and it will give them pause.

Another good sign to use is a “beware of dogs” sign. Post up multiple signs on your fence to make sure burglars get the message.

7. Keep Lawn Mowed

This tips is especially key if you’re planning on taking a long vacation over the summertime. Having an unkempt yard is an indication to burglars that you are not home.

If you can’t be home to mow your lawn, set up a service to do it for you. Prepay, but don’t indicate to them that you’ll be away on vacation, either. Alternatively, you can find a trusted neighbor to mow the lawn for you.

8. Store Away Ladders

Approximately 2% of burglars enter a home through the second floor window. Don’t make it any easier for them. Make sure that you secure your ladders away after use.

9. Put Lights on a Timer

Whether you’re home or away for the evening, it’s smart to put both interior and exterior lights on a timer. Schedule lights to come around the time of the expected sunset. A well-lit home will deter burglars from approaching, because they don’t know if you’re home or not. Burglars prefer an empty home, but if the lights are on, they can’t tell if you are home or not.

Additionally, exterior lights provide beautiful highlights that show off the home, but also expose burglars.

10. Install Security Cameras

Add security cameras to the exterior of your home. Security cameras are a visible deterrent. They also provide valuable surveillance in case you need to check on your home remotely.

11. Bury Wires Underground

If you’re afraid that a burglar will cut the wires to your home, bury them instead. Check out your local code requirements on what is permissible before starting.

12. Electronic Gate

Last, but not least, install a gate that opens and closes electronically. In combination with a strong fence, this gate prevents a lot of burglars from entry into your home.