Burglary Prevention That Doesn't Ruin Your Home Design

Jun 15 2012

Homeowners invest time and money in creating attractive landscaping and beautiful home design. These elements add value to the home, and marring an attractive home with ugly security cameras or alarm stickers definitely puts a damper on the home’s curb appeal. Fortunately, several landscaping and home design elements protect a home without sacrificing beauty. You can also prepare for the worst case scenario by implementing neighborhood watch programs, buying the appropriate homeowners insurance from a company like Kemper Direct Insurance, and generally being vigilant about your surroundings.

Which Neighborhoods do Burglars Target?
Unoccupied homes with easy access make the most sense for burglars. Not wanting to be caught, they look for the simplest targets that have easily accessible hiding places and escape routes. Statistics indicate that most burglaries occur during the day when homes are more likely to be empty. Likewise, new communities without established neighborhood watch programs tend to attract more crime.

Establishing community territoriality is a logical first step in defending the entire neighborhood from crime. As neighbors watch out for each other, thieves receive a message. They are not welcomed or tolerated.

Design Your Yard To Protect Your Home
Although trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers serve to create a relaxing and attractive outdoor oasis, these elements provide burglars with hiding spots and home security threat. Homes with an attractive and open landscaping design cause burglars to think twice about robbing the neighborhood.

When incorporating landscaping into the home’s design, homeowner’s should consider the view from a burglar’s perspective. Planting prickly landscaping elements around a home deters intruders. Creeping Juniper, Blue Spruce, Holly, Golden Bamboo and other plants include prickly leaves and are perfect additions under a home’s windows.

Keep shrubs trimmed to less than three feet, and maintain tree canopies higher than eight feet to prevent anyone from using the landscaping as a hiding spot or a route to a second story window, and to allow neighbors to notice suspicious people. Instead of erecting walls of plants or a high fence around the property’s perimeter, provide visibility. Thieves target homes where they are least likely to be seen or caught, and overgrown landscaping prevents neighbors or police from seeing suspicious activity around a home.

Install lighting that keeps the doorways, sidewalk and lawn well lit. While burglars prefer mid-day activity, nighttime burglaries do occur. Tall lamps or ground lights prevent dark areas outside the home, and they add an attractive feature to the home’s design.

Resist hiding a spare key under the entrance matt, in a birdbath or under a decorative rock. Burglars know these trick spots. Consider leaving a spare key with a trusted neighbor for security.

Indoor Burglar Preventers
Like landscaping that will conceal them, burglars look for homes they can enter easily. A few preventative measures deter thieves without diminishing the home’s attractive design.

Lightweight doors are easy entry points because they are simple to break. Installing a heavy-duty, high security strike plate around the lock prevents anyone from prying the door open with a screwdriver or kicking the door open. Installing a reinforced steel door with frosted rather than transparent glass prevents anyone from casing the home. These options serve as attractive alternatives to aluminum or barred doors.

Lock all windows or use wooden rod wedges to prevent a burglar from breaking the lock or entering through an open window. Hang curtains that pull together your home design and prevent intruders from seeing valuables in the home. Use windows near the street or alley as surveillance points for the neighborhood watch.

While homes with alarms are three times less likely to be burglarized than homes without alarms, stickers and signs detract from the home’s overall attractiveness. Consider posting a single, discreet sticker on the corner of ground floor windows. Without attracting attention, the stickers warn thieves away.

After implementing a neighborhood watch, an open landscaping design and door and window reinforcement, homeowners need to prepare for the worst case scenario. Insurance companies provide reimbursement for any items a burglar steals or damages. Burglaries do happen, but homeowners decrease this risk when they create safe neighborhoods with attractive home design.

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