You know the benefits of yard work: your lawn looks better, you burn calories and exercise some neglected muscles, and you reduce the chances of home burglary. What? It’s true–a well-kept lawn offers a number of security benefits that can help reduce your risk of a burglary.
That means you’ll avoid having to file an expensive claim–the average insurance claim for theft is $3,428, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Keeping clear of costly claims cuts your chances of your premium going up; in fact, going years between claims can send your premium down.
So break out the mower, clippers, chainsaw, and other tools. Here are some ways to improve the looks of your lawn while bolstering your home.
Don’t get bushed
Burglars look for thick shrubbery and bushes. It’s not because they love greenery–they love the cover that foliage provides. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed and tidy to avoid providing uninvited visitors a welcome hiding place.
If you’re adding shrubbery, consider thorny varieties, such as holly bushes, and plant them under windows. They can discourage burglars from sneaking in behind the curtains.
Stay off the grass!
A well-manicured lawn with a healthy sheen can be a deterrent for burglars. Why? Many see a cultivated lawn as an indicator that someone could be home or even that the home is monitored. Either way, it could signal the house is one worth avoiding.
Gravel is another ground covering that can help scare trespassers due to the noise caused by walking over it. Place larger pebbles under or near windows, or use them as a path covering instead of mulch or dirt. This is an easy outdoor project that looks great and also ensures no one can approach your home’s entrances unannounced.
Limb by limb
Trim low-hanging branches that could allow intruders access to second story windows or balconies. Why is this important? According to the FBI, burglars enter through windows during 15 percent of home break-ins.
To keep your home from being an easy target, make sure all your windows are secured with sturdy locks and double panes. Consider planting trees far enough from your home so no one can use them as a way to get onto your roof, over your fence, or into your house.
Make your greenery a guardian
This is more of a Don’t Do It Yourself: avoid placing trellises and lattices against your house. They give burglars a way to easily scale walls and have easy access to the second floor, second story windows, or the roof.
If you do choose to accessorize your yard with latticework, choose vines that are thorny. You also can dress doors and windows with thorny flora. Burglars could be less inclined to try their luck grabbing onto ledges that could leave them with a handful of pain.
A fence that makes sense
Fences offer privacy and help keep criminals and other unwanted visitors out of your yard. To double up on security, place tall, stalky plants, such as bamboo, on either side of the fence to discourage anyone from wanting to climb over.
Green thumbs have the leg up
As you think about your landscaping plan, be sure to factor security into the equation. Stick with greenery that will give you clear visibility and an added layer of home defense while simultaneously sprucing up your space. Make sure your home’s curb appeal doesn’t attract burglars.