Landscaping of a nice house

Landscaping for DIY Home Security

Updated June 2, 2020 . AmFam Team

Use landscaping to not only make your yard look beautiful, but to also protect your home and make it less of a target to burglars.

Curb appeal is typically a way to draw attention to your home, but it can also be used to deter thieves. Something as simple as leaving toys out in the yard can make your home a target of a burglary. But we’ve highlighted a handful of simple landscaping tips to boost safety and security — to help keep your home pretty and protected.

Improve Your Lighting

No burglar wants to be caught in the spotlight, so make sure you have powerful outdoor lights to make it look like your home is occupied even when you’re away. Take a look at these other ideas to reduce hiding spots around your home:

  • Motion-sensitive lights are great for protecting the home without taking away from the aesthetic
  • Replace old bulbs with energy efficient LEDs
  • Install new fixtures outside your house for added style and security
  • Adding solar walkway lights can illuminate dark areas and can help to deter thieves from approaching

Place Shrubs Strategically

Flowers, shrubs and trees are beautiful additions to any yard, especially when they’re of the thorny variety — burglars will think twice before getting into a fight with your foliage! Here are a few landscaping ideas to improve your home’s safety:

  • Use defensive plants like rose bushes and firethorns — they can discourage burglars from climbing into windows or hide in shrubs
  • Consider thorny plants around the front door and windows — they’re great collectors of DNA, and the scratches they leave on the skin can be used as evidence

Install a Smart Home Security System

Sometimes protecting your home means going beyond traditional landscaping. Home security systems are a great way to help keep your belongings safe and give piece of mind that your home is being monitored even when you’re away. American Family Insurance often partners with smart wireless security systems that can be customized to fit your home needs. A customized Smart Home Security System package can include:

  • Multiple security camera options that can be streamed as live video on your smartphone or tablet
  • Sensors that alert you if someone is trying to break in through a window or doorway
  • Motion sensors that can detect potential burglars coming through entryways

Minimize Places to Hide

With fewer places to hide in your yard, you’re less likely to be targeted. And by trimming your hedges and keeping the weeds down, you can boost your home’s overall security. Take on these tips to upgrade your home’s safety index:

  • Trim your shrubs and plants cut low and prevent thieves from taking cover
  • Install low and easy-to-see-through fencing, like picket or lattice
  • Minimize obstructions and keep sightlines clear around your windows and doors
  • Be sure your neighbors and passersby are able to easily view entrances and walkways

Limit Thieves’ Access to Windows

Windows are easy access points, but with simple fixes, you can keep intruders out. Try cutting tree limbs away from the home — this leaves nowhere for burglars to hide, and little chance of anyone mapping out your floorplan. Look at these other ideas to help secure your perimeter:

  • Reduce access to second-story windows by locking away ladders
  • Secure tools and garden implements that can be used in forced entry crimes
  • Reconsider climbable fencing, lattice and vines against the house
  • And as a DIY alarm system, replace mulch around the windows with gravel that can deter thieves’ stealthy approach

Between the gravel alarm and the weaponized thorn bushes, burglars won’t stand a chance.

Maintain Your Lawn

Letting your lawn go can make it look as if you haven’t been home in a while. Keep up the illusion that you’re home, even when you’re not — and you’re already ahead of the game. Here are a few thoughts on keeping your lawn well-maintained to prevent theft and burglary:

  • Think about hiring a service to mow your lawn and clear your sidewalks and driveway during the winter
  • Keep your front yard clear of toys and kid’s bikes — it tells neighbors you’re taking care of your home
  • Install security system signage to get thieves looking elsewhere for low-hanging fruit

If you’re going to spruce up your lawn to make it safer, consider these tips to add curb appeal to your house. Before you know it, your new landscaping will lead by example, and neighbors will be asking how they can protect their homes with a foliage fortress of their own. To further keep your home protected and insured, get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent. (Opens in a new tab)

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