The front yard is the most visible part of your property and an integral part of your home’s kerb appeal. While most people think about their front yard in terms of aesthetics and garden maintenance, few people consider its potential value to home security.
The front yard is the first barrier that burglars have to cross before they can gain access to your house. A poorly planned front yard will be easy to access and will provide plenty of cover for burglars to work.
However, with a little thought and planning, you can transform your front yard into an effective burglar deterrent without turning your home into a fortress or sacrificing kerb appeal.
The fence and gate
A sturdy and high front fence that’s difficult to climb is a great burglar deterrent. It doesn’t have to be a wall either. A simple timber picket fence will look great, but still be difficult to climb over.
But a good fence means nothing without a lockable gate. You should ensure you have sturdy and lockable walkway and driveway gates. You could consider installing automatic gates that lock behind you as they close.
Burglars love to work in the shadows. And most front yards offer plenty of shadows that will help to conceal a burglar while they work. Adding landscape lighting to your yard will not only make your front yard look great at night, but it will eliminate those shadows that burglar love to work in. A well-lit yard is a clear and immediate break-in deterrent.
The downside, however, is that landscape lighting is only effective when the lights are turned on. And if you’re conscious of the environment or your power bills, you don’t want to leave your lights on all night. This is where sensor lighting is great. A few strategically placed sensor lights will illuminate those vulnerable front yard areas as soon as motion is detected.
Extend your security system outside
The best way to extend your security system into your front yard is with CCTV cameras. Home security cameras can be positioned outside to monitor your front yard, gate, driveway and other front yard access points. These cameras are usually motion activated and can be paired with sensor lights. Make sure your cameras are highly visible as the mere presence of visible security cameras is a powerful deterrent.
Most people don’t think about it, but your gardening choices can help to enhance your home security. For example, thorny climberson fences or cactus patches at the foot of fences can make it much more difficult for burglars to climb over. Have a look at our blog on The Difference Between Automatic Swing Gates and Sliding Gates
High, dense hedges can also create a barrier that’s difficult to break through without making a lot of noise and mess.
Smart gardening isn’t just about what you plant and where. It’s also about what you remove from your garden. Avoid tall trees with branches that overhang balconies or the roof. Burglars can use these branches to access the roof or upstairs windows, which may allow for easier access to the house.
You should also avoid shrubs, trees and other plants that obscure the line of sight from the street to the house. Keep your garden well maintained and ensure that garden growth doesn’t obscure the view from the street to main entry points like front doors, windows and side gates.
If you have a monitored home security system, you should consider prominently displaying a sign with your security company’s logo. A garden sign or window stickers may be enough to get a potential burglar to move on and look for an easier target.
Using a “beware of the dog” sign can also help to deter break-ins. A burglar may be less likely to attempt a break-in if they are worried about a barking dog.
Signs of life
In most cases, burglars will be looking for empty homes to break into. So, anything you can do to make the property look occupied will help to deter break-ins. Some good signs of life that are visible from the front yard include:
- Empty letterbox
- Full rubbish bins
- Lights on inside
- Noise inside (like music or TV)
- People regularly coming and going
Whether it’s a visitor or a potential burglar, your front yard does a lot to create a first impression. By following the simple tips above, you can discourage potential burglars before they even set foot on your property.