Jan23

Is Your Yard a Burglar’s Paradise?

by Greg Jensen on January 23, 2017

Your home is your sanctuary. As a place where you gather to relax with friends and family, it should be where you feel the safest. But did you know that your safe haven could also be a target for burglars? Just like your home, your backyard needs extra care to protect you and your family from a break in. Here, we’ve gathered four easy ways you can make your backyard safer:

Trim Bushes

Overgrown bushes and shrubs create ideal hiding places for thieves, since the greenery masks burglars who are waiting to see if the coast is clear. Trimming the bushes leaves less cover for a would-be thief.

Consider:

  • Regularly trimming bushes to a height of 4 feet or less.
  • Trimming large trees. Tall trees with branches near second-story windows serve as easy entry points.
  • Maintaining your yard. You want your home to look lived in at all times, so regularly trim the grass, rake the leaves, weed the garden, and trim trees, bushes, and shrubs.

You may also consider planting a prickly hedge around your home or yard. Most thieves target homes with easy access points—a prickly bush or shrub might be the only incentive he or she needs to skip your home.

Secure Gates

If you have a gate that leads to the backyard, lock it at all times. If your gate isn’t currently equipped with a lock, invest in a padlock, and keep the gate closed and locked even when you’re at home or in the backyard.

Along these same lines, make sure your gate’s hinges are on the inside—inward-facing hinges are much harder to remove than outward-facing hinges.

Lock Windows and Doors

All windows, even windows on second floors, need to be locked. Your ground-floor windows in particular are easy entry points, so before you leave home or go to bed, check all the windows to ensure they’re locked.

During your walkthrough, you should also check your doors, especially glass sliding doors that access your deck or patio. Many homeowners overlook their patio doors, which makes sliding doors some of thieves’ favorite entry points.

Finally, make sure all your windows have blinds or drapes that block the view from the outside. Windows without drapes give thieves an easy way to peek inside and see what they can take from you.

Install Motion Sensor Lights

Most security experts recommend that you have adequate exterior lighting, especially in the backyard. In particular, outdoor sensor lights that detect motion turn on if someone enters your backyard. The sudden light can be enough to scare away a potential thief.

If you’re leaving on a vacation, set both your outdoor and indoor lights to a timer so your home looks lived in. Timed lights that go on and off in your backyard make it look like you’ve triggered the lights by walking around your home. A burglar is much less likely to enter if he or she thinks you’re in the house.

Look around your backyard. Are you overlooking any of these important security measures? Implement these steps to keep your home and family safe, and if you have additional backyard security tips, feel free to share them in the comments.