10 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Backyard
Don’t let your home fall prey to a burglary, here are 10 ways to burglar proof your backyard to stop perpetrators gaining access to your home.
Having your home fall prey to an intruder is a terrifying thought for all homeowners. Approximately 400,000 Australian homes were broken into in 2020, so it’s certainly not something to take lightly. Burglaries can amount to devastating financial loss, as well as impacting your emotional and mental wellbeing. As well as sheer luck, there are actionable steps to take to try and prevent a burglar from targeting your home.
There have been interviews with convicted burglars to try to find out what makes a home an attractive target for a robbery. In many of these interviews, the burglars allude to their dream targets as being a house they can gain entry to within five minutes and do so undetected. The following list comprises of easy ways to help you scare off or delay the entry of any potential robber. It should always be a priority to protect your home and backyard.
#1 Install motion-sensor lights
Burglars want to get in and out of a house, with their spoils, without being caught. Many burglars are non-violent criminals that want to avoid confrontation and being sighted by the homeowner or neighbours. Installing motion sensor lights will automatically make the task of getting into your home unseen a lot more challenging.
#2 Invest in a security system (or just act like you do!)
Alarms have advanced in the last decade to connect to your laptop or mobile phone, sending you instant alerts if anyone intrudes into your house. You can set alarms around your backyard as well as your home, so you can know if anyone enters your property. Alarms are also reasonably cheap to run, once you foot the initial installation expense. If you’re not in a position to get an alarm installed, you can still try and trick burglars into thinking you do. Putting signs or stickers around your gate and backyard with a security systems logo may fool intruders into thinking your home has a sophisticated alarm system and deter them from trying to break in.
#3 Lock or hide valuables
If you have a collection of expensive power tools, bikes, or water sports equipment just strewn across your backyard – you’re going to attract a burglar. They’ll see you as an easy target – the great thing about valuables being left in the yard is that the robber doesn’t even have to break into your home to get away with a bounty. Anything valuable should be securely stored and preferably out of sight for anyone casing out your backyard.
#4 Have the most secure fence installed
Your fence is your first line of defence against a burglar. It signals private property. An intruder has to cross this barrier to gain entry into your backyard, so, typically, it’s a good idea to get a tall, hard-to-climb fence installed. Something like Colorbond is an excellent example of this, as it is made out of large steel panels that usually have vertical indents – a design that makes it hard for someone to climb over. Colorbond is a durable, strong fence that would not be able to be knocked down easily. Burglars would have no option but to try and scale it, which would be a difficult feat and would put off many intruders. Another option is to get a fence with a sharp top, such as a tall picket fence. Lastly, make sure that your fence has a secure gate if your property has rear or side access. A self-locking or automatic gate is a great option because a stranger will not be able to unlock it. With automatic gates, you control its motion entirely with a remote, so you’ll have a better sense of security, knowing that no one can jimmy the gate open.
#5 Landscape to deter burglars
When you consider landscaping to prevent burglary, do you think of planting a whole lot of bushes and trees to try to make it more difficult for a burglar to get into your backyard? While this may work, it could also have the opposite effect – the number of dense trees or bushes will offer a cover for burglars to sneak in undetected. If your backyard backs onto a neighbour’s property or is easily visible from the street, it would be much more beneficial to low-growing shrubbery to allow visual access around your gate, back door and any sheds and garages. This means that any intruder will be fully exposed when attempting to break-in.
#6 Get a dog (or just act like you do!)
A dog is one of your best ways to scare off any potential burglars. No one wants to face down a tough and ruthless dog that can injure you or draw attention to their presence by barking or growling. If you have a large dog, many burglars would be intelligent enough to steer clear of your house and target one that is easier to break into. If you’re not in the position to have a dog, you can still pretend that you do by putting a warning sign on your fence that states you have a dog. If you really want to make it believable, you can put a dog bed or food bowl on your porch.
#7 Install cameras
Similar to alarms, cameras have advanced to become innovative, smart little gadgets (some are even part of an alarm system packaging). They can be connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to your phone and play a live stream of what the camera is seeing while you’re out and about. That allows you to alert authorities immediately if you see anyone breaking into your home, even if you’re hours away. Many cameras are now activated by motion-sensing technology, so you’ll get alerted if or when there is any movement. Having visible cameras displayed around your backyard also has the benefit of scaring away burglars.
#8 Lock up any sheds or garages
Sometimes homeowners focus too much on their home and forget about the expensive items sitting in their garage or garden shed. Ensure these are always locked up tight. A large padlock or deadbolt will ward off a potential thief, as they’d be able to tell just by glancing at it that it is securely locked.
#9 Park cars in garages
Expensive cars can make your home an attractive target. As well as burglars wanting to steal the vehicle itself, they may take it as a hint that you are wealthy and have more expensive items inside your home. There’s an additional risk if you keep any keys inside your car, like the garage door opener. Prevent all of these problems by parking your car in the garage, out of sight and mind. If this isn’t an option, consider buying a car cover or ensuring that your car is heavily alarmed.
#10 Keep your house secure
If the earlier steps don’t work in preventing the intruder from gaining access to your backyard, you need to ensure your home is secure enough that it’s not broken into easily. Securely locking all doors and windows is step number one. If you can bolt them, do so. Make sure any spare key is not hidden in a conspicuous place – under the doormat or pot plant next to the door. Ensure all curtains and blinds are drawn, which is especially important if you have visible valuables in your home that can be seen through said windows. Those would attract a burglar, where a hidden home won’t give him any strong incentive, one way or another.