Many homeowners take needed measures to secure their home but forget to make their yard equally unattractive to prospective thieves. Yet, simple steps can cause thieves to choose another house. From prickly mistletoe bushes to spiny cactuses grown under accessible windows in an organic barbed wire mesh, even the choices we make when planting our gardens can affect the ease with which thieves can enter our homes.
The most obvious first step is to erect a tall fence. This not only deters burglars but also adds privacy to your home life. An intruder scaling a fence is easy to spot and sure to attract the attention of your neighbors. It also helps to keep unwanted deer and rabbits from munching on your vegetables.
Motion triggered lights can be mounted on the fence or a line of solar cell decorative lanterns can be placed around the perimeter of the yard. Gates to side yards and the back of the house need to be locked. Ladders and valuable tools and equipment should be locked in the garage or a sturdy shed.
Sheds are worthless if they can be kicked in. They should be strong and outfitted with a heavy padlock. Sheds without windows are best, but at a minimum, any windows should be securely locked. Even so, the garage is a better place to store expensive tools and lawnmowers.
Consult the Crime Prevention unit of your local police department. Take an active role in the Neighborhood Watch group, forming one if none exists. Keep your eyes open and be aware of strangers hanging about, cars that cruise the neighborhood, unknown persons walking their dogs near your property. Do not hesitate to ask for increased police patrols if you observe worrying behavior. Local police are usually happy to accommodate this request, allowing them to focus their resources on areas of concern.