Using Environmental Design to Protect Outdoor Property from Vandalism and Theft

One of the most effective ways to protect your outdoor property from theft or vandalism is the use of crime prevention through environmental design or CPTED. You can design the layout of your home or yard in such a manner to make an area less inviting to criminals. Here are a few simple ways that you can implement this method in your own backyard.

One of the most effective and least expensive ways to improve the security of your outdoor property is to install motion sensor security lights. Many hardware stores offer inexpensive do-it-yourself lighting kits. When purchasing lighting take into consideration how much it will illuminate your yard. Many people make the mistake of installing motion sensor lights that are too bright. This can be a drawback; too much bright light can create large areas that are concealed by shadows. Also, your neighbors will not appreciate the blinding light coming in through their bedroom window. Choose a lighting assembly that provides enough soft light to sufficiently illuminate your backyard without being too harsh.

Also, you may consider investing in a “Beware of Dog” sign. These can be purchased for very little at your local hardware store and many other retail locations. Most people have a natural fear of anything that runs up at them barking and snarling and will want to avoid being bit. Even if you are a cat person and don’t own a dog chances are a potential thief will not know that and the sign will serve as an effective deterrent. An alternative would be to purchase a sign or sticker from a security alarm company.

It is also important to keep hedges and trees in your backyard trimmed so they cannot be used as a source of concealment. Avoid having hedges next to your house, below windows, or along fence-lines. Criminals love to use bushes and hedges for concealment. You can prevent theft by simply taking preventative measures to ensure there are no places a would-be thief can hide. Also, when you landscape consider using plants such as rose bushes which have thorns and do not provide a very welcome refuge for someone trying to take cover in them.

Many people think that a tall fence will keep trespassers off of their property, however, these provide excellent concealment for an intruder. If you decide to put up a fence you should choose a short fence that does not limit visibility. A short, picket fence will provide an effective physical barrier around your backyard without obstructing visibility.

The above examples provide an inexpensive yet effective way to protect any property you keep in your yard. By designing your outdoor environment to increase visibility and provide less natural concealment you can keep your backyard property safe and avoid a big headache later on.