How to Burglar-Proof Your Yard

You might think you've considered everything when it comes to home security. You always lock your windows and doors, set your home security alarm, and close your blinds. You've even invested in a LED TV simulator to deter burglars while you're sleeping or away.

But how much have you thought about your yard? While things like home security systems go a long way toward preventing home break-ins, your yard is actually your first line of defence in preventing burglaries. In fact, your yard's condition can either signal that you're an easy mark, or persuade burglars to choose a less difficult target.

Read below to learn what yard elements burglars love and how to transform your yard into a solid aspect of your home defence.

How Your Yard Can Invite Burglars
Take a good hard look at your yard and see if you can spot any of these problems:

Overgrown Trees, Shrubs, and Bushes
Trimming trees is about more than creating a garden aesthetic. Overgrown trees, shrubs, and bushes can also shelter burglars from your neighbours' view. They also create more shadows for burglars to lurk in as they sneak toward your house undetected.

Trees with sturdy branches can also help burglars access your home's upper floors. The combination of an open window and a low-hanging branch is practically an invitation to any enterprising burglar that your home is fair game.

Dead or Overgrown Grass
During the summer, anything other than a well-manicured lawn signals that you're out of town and have turned off the water. Of course, this might not be true—maybe you simply had no time to mow the lawn this week.

Still, a lackluster lawn can alert burglars that you're too busy to take care of your lawn, which can mean you're too busy to invest in other home security devices. Burglars might also guess that you're not home during daylight hours to mow the lawn, which makes them more likely to break in.

Lattices and Trellises
While they add a vintage aesthetic to your garden, lattices and trellises can also lend a burglar easy access to your home. If you place your trellises against your home's wall, burglars can easily scale them to an open window on the above floor.

Lawn Equipment Left Outdoors
Do you leave your expensive lawn mower or barbecue outside instead of locking them in a shed? Uncovered expensive appliances, even within fenced yards, often look like easy marks.

Burglars can also easily use lawn equipment you leave outside to access your home. For instance, they can prop your own ladder against your wall for easy home access, or use your gardening tools to aid their break-in.

How Your Yard Can Deter Burglars
The good news is, once you're aware of these problems, they're easy to fix. Try the following tips instead:

Trim Back Your Trees and Bushes
Don't let your bushes grow higher than one metre (three feet) tall. Trim any tree branches that droop too near your home or above your roof.

Plant Thorny Shrubs
In place of sturdy, leafy bushes, plant a variety of thorny shrubs directly beneath your windows. Keep these bushes tidy and short.

Don't worry about thorny bushes detracting from your home's value or aesthetic appeal. You can choose anything from holly to roses to yucca, depending on your climate and the amount of time you can invest in your garden.

Water Your Lawn
Try to prioritize mowing your lawn on a weekly basis. Even if you don't have the time to mow your lawn, keep it as green and fresh as possible. Don't turn off the water when you go out of town; hire a trustworthy neighbour to mow your lawn while you're gone.

Decorate Responsibly
While trellises and lattices beautify your yard, taking them down will keep you safer. Instead of propping trellises and lattices against your house, invest in a free-standing lattice. If you absolutely can't part with your trellis, intertwine it with something thorny, like roses.

Safety Store Any Lawn Equipment
Invest in a good outdoor shed with a sturdy lock to store your outdoor equipment, or keep it in a secure garage.

What Security Equipment You Should Install
You already protect your home with alarms and security systems. Why not extend that security to the outside of the house? Along with the above lawn care tips, take some of these security measures to thoroughly guard your yard.

Motion-Sensing Lights
Install motion-sensing lights around your home's perimeter. Lights won't do much during the day, but they can go a long way towards scaring off the occasional nighttime burglar.

Exterior Security Cameras
Visible cameras let burglars know they're being watched. Make sure your cameras are obvious—they'll be much more effective.

Security System Yard Signs
A simple yard sign lets burglars know you go the extra mile to protect your home. A security system makes their job that much harder; since most burglars look for the easiest mark, they'll typically avoid homes they know have alarm systems.

Let Your Yard Keep You Safe
If you take these tips, your yard will become a home security asset, not a liability. Follow these steps today to ensure your home's safety from all angles, not just the inside.