When it comes to the idea of home security, lots of people think you need to opt into fancy systems and high-grade surveillance equipment. While these things certainly couldn’t hurt, it’s not the only thing you can do to improve the safety of your home.
It might surprise some homeowners out there to know that there is a proactive approach you can take to home security without relying on a system. Things like yard work and home improvement – little things that can improve the overall quality of life – can make a huge difference.
Trimming Back Hedges and Branches
Lots of people like to keep rows of hedges close to their front doors and windows. The problem here, however, is that these are unwittingly providing cover to burglars as they attempt to force their way in. If you have bushes or hedges flanking any major entry points, you might consider trimming them back. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to see over any bushes that are in close proximity to your windows or doors. If maintenance is an issue, then you might want to consider shopping for a particular type of hedge or bush that can only grow a certain height.
Plants with thorns or spiky leaves such as roses or hollies can also be an effective deterrent when it comes to keeping unwanted visitors from entering your yard though border plantings around the perimeter of the yard.
Tree branches provide their own unique set of trouble. While not always the case, some burglars in the past have made use of overgrown tree branches to access second floor windows and patios. Keeping up with the pruning not only makes your trees look nicer, it helps minimize the ways a burglar can get in.
Some people put them in their yard, some people put them along the path leading in – wherever you decide to put them, just make sure it’s in a spot where you’ll benefit the most. For a lot of homeowners in this country, that just so happens to be near the front and back doors and the driveway area. Outside or exterior lights can be purchased in most major hardware stores and many of them are easy enough to install. These lights also come in a variety of forms. Some are solar powered, some have sensors that detect when it’s dark enough to automatically turn on, and some have motion sensors.
The kind with motion sensors built in are especially helpful in securing your home because of how they work. If even a small amount of movement is detected within range of the lights – be it from a four-legged or two-legged intruder – the lights flash on conveying the illusion that someone is home, and illuminating any misdeeds the intruder is trying to hide.
Loose stone or gravel paths serve a number of different purposes. Primarily, they provide people with an obvious path into the home at a relatively affordable cost. Depending on what you’re going for, from a landscaping perspective, gravel paths can also provide a visually pleasing contrast against all the surrounding softscaping. Gravel paths can also open the door to more creative opportunities regarding your yard, like native rock gardens or water features.
Reading this, though, you might be asking yourself: How can a gravel path actually help secure the home? By giving you enough warning to act if someone is approaching your front door. How many people do you know that can actually tread quietly on such a surface? You’ll hear their approach and so will any canine companions you have in the home.
Fences and Gates
Putting in a fence serves a number of different purposes from marking your property to confining the area of play for your little children and pets. While not necessarily a guaranteed crime stopper, the inherent structure and boundary presented by a fence can impede the progress of a would-be intruder.
Also remember that when you put a gate in, unless it is properly secured, you might as well be carving a hole in your fence. You need a sturdy lock to secure that gate and it’s wise to make sure the gate is the same height as the rest of the fence.
If All Else Fails
You can always put out a search for home security systems if, after all these tips, you still aren’t quite sure about the safety and security of yourself and your home. Some brands and sites like http://www.homessecurity.com/, for example, offer some of the best systems on the market.
However you decide to protect your home, just remember that with a little work and maintenance, you can not only improve the look of your home, but the overall quality of life within. It’s about time your home looked safe in addition to looking good.