Landscaping, as defined by Bing is the enhancement of the appearance of land, especially around buildings, by altering its contours and planting trees, shrubs, and flowers”

But landscaping is so much more!  Sure, it’s beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but did you know it’s an important part of your home’s security?  Read on and find out how your landscaping can and should be an integral part of your home security plan:

There are many simple things you can do to deter ne’er-do-wells and keep you home safe & secure:

  • Keep Your Lawns Mowed:

An unkempt, uncut lawn is a tip off to intruders/thieves that you are out of town.

  • Trim Tree Branches Close to Your House:

Tree branches can be used as a way into your home, just like a ladder.  Prune branches that come closer than seven feet from upper story windows and/or decks.  This can also help keep your gutters clean and prevent damage in the event of strong winds.

  • Keep Shrubs and Bushes Trimmed:

Some police websites recommend that shrubs and bushes near doors and walkways be trimmed to no higher than three feet, so intruders/thieves have no place to hide.

  • Plant Low Growing, Thorny Bushes:

Consider planting thorny bushes underneath windows, such as Barberry, Rose or Hawthorne.  The thorns act as natural deterrents while being easy on the eyes.

  • Keep Fence Gates Locked and Latched:

Simple but effective.

  • Invest in Landscape Lighting:

This may well be the single most effective deterrent while highlighting the beauty of your home and landscaping!  Motion detector lights should be installed around the perimeter of your home, especially in the back yard and other hard to see areas.  Most lighting systems can be set on timers, so when you’re away or out of town, no one else has to know.  Spot lighting your entrance and/or favorite tree is another great deterrent.  The more lights, the better, and these aren’t your grandparent’s lights.  Over the past couple of years, there have been improvements on low voltage LED landscape lights, which are safer than the old incandescent lights (i.e.standard light bulb). There is virtually no heat generated, and they offer great energy savings – up to 75% more efficient than incandescent. They have also been able to replicate the light we are used to seeing from incandescent bulbs, that nice soft, buttery yellowish glow instead of the harsh blue light we are accustomed to from LED lights.  Sweeney’s strongly recommends the use of professional grade lights, which carry a lifetime warranty versus the big box store landscape lights which we consider to be disposable.

While the weather is nice, far too nice for February, take a quick walk around your home and yard, paying special attention to potential security gaps, make a list and partner with Sweeney’s as part of your home security plan.  It’s well worth it.

On a quick note, I must thank one of our readers who inspired me to write this blog.  You know who you are, and I thank you.

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney