Many homeowners believe that security starts at the front door and only encompasses the interior of the home. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good home security plan should start at the curb of your property, and if effective it should keep criminals from making it to your front door.
There are several signs that a burglar will look for when evaluating whether or not a particular home will make a good target. Things like overgrown landscaping, privacy fences, lack of security lighting, tools or a ladder laying around the yard…etc. These are things that a homeowner may not give a second thought to, but a burglar will be watching for.
Keeping your tools out of the hands of a burglar – Can you imagine a criminal being dumb enough to carry a ladder or a sledge hammer to a home they intend to burglarize. Granted there are a few that would, but they tend to have very short careers. Normally, these guys will not do this because if they are stopped by a police officer at two in the morning, it may be very hard to explain.
A much smarter move would be to burglarize a home with items found around the property. Things like ladders, that can be used to gain access to upper floor windows, or hammers and crowbars that can be used for forcing open windows or doors. These tools should be secured in your garage or a locked tool shed.
Love thy neighbor – The saying that good fences make good neighbors also has its downside. From a home security perspective the privacy fence, that creates the illusion that your neighbors don’t exist, will also provide perfect cover for a criminal attempting to break into your home.
Part of the reason that we live in communities, is for the safety the group provides. These types of fences actually isolate you from your neighbors, and therefore, make you more vulnerable to crime.
Another mistake homeowner make is having large overgrown trees and bushes right next to their home. Your average homeowner sees the world very differently than your average criminal. While you or i may look at a yard and comment on how beautiful, the landscaping is, all a criminal sees are the potential hiding places and blind spots.
If you are going to have plantings next to your home, they need to be small. Furthermore, the lower branches of trees that are next to your home will need to be removed, so that they cannot be used to access your second-floor windows.
Let there be light – more specifically home security lighting. Lack of proper lighting is probably one of the first things a criminal will take note of when looking for a home to burglarize. Having your property surrounded by pools of darkness will be an invitation for criminals to come closer for a better look, and if they find any other weakness, your home will become an unfortunate statistic.
The solution is simple…home security lights. You can either install the low-voltage lights that come on at dusk, or another choice may be the type that is activated by motion and body heat. Either choice is better than having no exterior lights on your property.
There is an old corny joke that applies really well to home security…”you do not have to be faster than a lion; you just have to be faster than the guys you are running with at the moment.” Translation, if you make your home a harder target, criminals will find someone else to victimize.