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Landscaping for Security

There are all kinds of alarm systems that you can install in your home for security, but did you know that your landscaping can help thwart intruders before they even get close to your house?  As you plan the safety and security of your home, don’t forget to include the yard and garden. Your yard can become your first line of defense against criminal activity.

Set aside some time and money to use landscaping to make your yard more secure.  Here are 5 strategies to consider.

Landscaping for Security

Plantings.  Thorny plants such as roses and bougainvillea provide security at the edge of properties or in dark corners close to the house where a prowler could enter.  So that shrubbery doesn’t give cover to unlawful activity, be sure to keep it low and do not allow these plants to obscure windows.  Finally, plant or prune your trees so that the branches don’t overhang the roof of your house, which could provide access to an intruder.

Gates and seating. Avoid having a gate or entry from a deserted alley or pathway. Seating should be strategically placed for relaxation but also in a way that allows you to see passersby.

Open lines of sight. Where the intersection of your path or driveway reaches a street, be sure you have visibility. Don’t place large shrubs or tall walls in the line of vision where you want to see pedestrians on a sidewalk or cars approaching. When you enter a street from your driveway, keep a clear line of vision for several hundred feet.

Lighting. Ornamental landscape lighting can be used for aesthetics and as a means of keeping your property visible at night. A technique called “moonlighting” — hanging fixtures aiming down from trees, flooding the yard with a soft glow — is both practical and beautiful.

Fences or walls. Think about security when building walls and fences in your garden. It might dictate where they are installed and how high they should be. Vines on walls can also help discourage graffiti.

To minimize the possibility that your barriers will conceal intruders, consider see-through designs such as picket fences, lattice with large openings, walls with open patterns, or chain link.