Information is brought to you by
Lisa Fermanis CLHMS, CNHS, RCC
RE/MAX Suburban

How to Use Landscaping to Make Your Home Safer

If you want to deter burglars, don’t overlook the power of landscaping. Choosing the right trees and bushes for your property and keeping them well maintained can help protect your home and family.

Don’t Give an Intruder Anywhere to Hide

Make sure that the vegetation in your yard doesn’t provide hiding places and that you can look out a window and see what’s going on. Shrubs close to your home should not be tall enough to block windows.

Burglars often target garages because they contain valuable tools and equipment. An attached garage can also be a way to access the rest of the house. Be sure that your landscaping doesn’t give an intruder a hiding place near the garage.

Trees should not be so large that they can prevent you from spotting an intruder. When you look out windows, you should have clear sightlines. Removing obstructions will also make it easier for a burglar to see cameras or a sign that says your home is protected by a security system.

If you’re thinking about buying bushes or trees to plant in your yard, find out how tall they will be when they’re fully mature. You don’t want to wind up with vegetation that obstructs your view and gives burglars potential hiding places. A professional landscaper can give you advice on which types of plants to choose and where to put them.

Use Plants That Will Deter Burglars

Some species can make your home particularly unappealing to intruders. Putting bushes with thorns right outside your windows and along the property line can make it difficult or impossible for someone to enter without getting hurt or making noise. Keep in mind that those types of plants can also injure members of your family. They might not be appropriate if you have young kids or outdoor pets.

Don’t Make It Easy for a Burglar to Break In

Trim trees so there are no branches close to the ground or near windows. An intruder might climb a tree and then enter the house through an upstairs window. A trellis attached to a wall is another no-no. It can help a burglar easily reach the second floor.

Take Care of Your Property

An overgrown or messy lawn can make a burglar think the house is unoccupied and therefore an easy target. A well-kept yard will send the message that the home is occupied and that you take pride in your property.

Mow the grass, trim the hedges, prune the trees and remove debris from your lawn on a regular basis. If you can’t handle those jobs yourself or you don’t have time, hire a landscaping contractor.

Use Lighting

Motion-activated lights can immediately alert you if someone enters your yard at night. When you look out a window, you’ll be able to scan the property, see if there is an intruder, and call the police, if necessary.