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How Much Do Lawncare Practices Affect Your Home Security?

Source: entrepreneur.com

If someone were to tell you that your home’s security is impacted by how well you keep up the lawn and garden, what would you say? The idea that homes with unkempt lawns are more likely to be burglarized is pretty common thinking in this country. Whether it is true or not is another matter.

Still, experts say there are things we can do with our landscaping to make our home safer. And believe it or not, a fair number of homeowners follow their advice in this regard. It just goes to show how important home security is to many of us.

Poor Landscaping Practices

Source: lovethegarden.com

The link between unkempt lawns and higher security risks probably isn’t provable by hard and fast crime data. Nonetheless, Vivint.com cites statistics suggesting that 36% of American homeowners believe the link is real. That means more than one-third of us assume that not keeping up with the front yard makes one a higher risk for burglary. But it gets better.

As for why poor landscaping practices make a home a more attractive target, 63% of Americans agree that an unkempt yard suggests that the homeowner might also be less particular about other things. Poor lawncare practices could indicate poor security practices. They could indicate a homeowner not taking care to lock windows and doors, protect valuables, etc.

Again, this is just public perception. This writer doesn’t know of any concrete data proving that people who don’t take care of their lawns also don’t pay attention to security. But in all honesty, the link makes a lot of sense. And if it makes sense to me, does it also make sense to burglars?

Using Landscaping to Make a Home More Secure

While Americans try to figure out if poor landscaping practices increase crime risk, the experts say that we can use our landscaping to our advantage. For example, one of the most common landscaping-related security tips has to do with making sure there is a clear view of your home from the street.

It’s common knowledge that burglars prefer to enter through first floor windows and doors. It is also common knowledge that they do not want to get caught. So if your home can be easily seen from the street, it becomes a less attractive target.

This suggests not having overgrown shrubs or trees that block the view from the street. Specifically, you want to make sure that the front door can be easily seen. Around the sides and back of your home, a similar principle applies. You want to keep trees and shrubs neatly trimmed so that your neighbors can see any suspicious activity around windows and doors.

Shrub Selection Near Windows

Source: containedcreations.com

Another helpful tip is to plant certain types of shrubs in front of your first-floor windows. According to a research, 86% of Americans have added “security-enhancing features to their front yards” including thorny bushes and dense shrubs. Here are the most popular plants and shrubs for home security:

Rose bushes are by far the most attractive option, with roughly 42% of homeowners who choose to enhance security with their landscaping selecting them. Boxwood takes second place at 21%. The question is, why?

Rose bushes are thorny. Trying to make your way through strategically placed roses to get to first floor windows is uncomfortable. Likewise for boxwood. Although boxwood isn’t thorny, it is very dense. Its branches are also quite sharp. Having to make your way through boxwood in order to get to a window would be a lot of work and potentially injurious.

Making Things as Hard as Possible


Perhaps you’re not convinced that landscaping practices have anything to do with burglary risk. That’s fine. You are free to do with your property as you see fit. But think about this one aspect of crime: criminals prey on the weakest among us. They prey on easy targets.

Preventing burglary and home invasion is about making entry into your home, without getting caught, as difficult as possible. The harder you make it, the more likely a criminal will choose another target. This one principle is the foundation of all home security strategies.

Putting a heavy-duty deadbolt lock on your front door is a strategy designed to make it more difficult for burglars to get in easily. Mounting home security cameras in strategic locations is about making it harder to commit a crime on your property without it being recorded.

Landscaping works the same way. If your home is clearly visible from the street, it is harder for a burglar to approach without being seen. If you utilize strategic landscaping elements to make breaking in through the windows more uncomfortable, a burglar will think twice.

Landscaping and the Neighbors

Experts are quick to point out that there is an added benefit to improving your landscaping practices for a more secure property. That benefit is happier neighbors. Data shows that 46% of American homeowners are either moderately or very bothered by a neighbor’s unkempt yard.

This is not to say that you should allow your neighbors to determine your landscaping practices. It’s merely to say that your neighbors will appreciate your efforts to keep up your property. A well-kept yard means one less reason to have a disagreement with neighbors. And in the modern world, keeping disagreements to a minimum it is probably a good idea.

It’s Your Property

When all is said and done, you have the legal right to do with your property as you see fit – within the scope of local ordinances and regulations. As a homeowner myself, I prefer good landscaping practices that both enhance my security and prevent bothering my neighbors.

If making sure my home has a clear view from the street will stop burglars, I am all for it. Likewise for planting thorny and dense shrubs. Anything I can do to keep burglars and home invaders away is at least worth considering. Every step one can take is good.