For many homeowners, designing and implementing their ideal outdoor landscape is a great way to pass the time and demonstrate their creative side to the neighborhood. A well-developed landscape is an all-but-necessary accompaniment to any home, especially when given ample space and resources.
When most of us think of landscaping, we picture a well-kept home that is complemented by surrounding outdoor features, from decorated decks and patios to gardens, water features and intricate outdoor lighting. But landscaping also includes another aspect that often goes overlooked: home security and safety.
Take those outdoor lights, for example. While their primary function may be to illuminate an impressively designed front yard for night viewing, they also add a layer of security to a home, deterring potential intruders who rely on the cover of darkness. In addition, outdoor lighting provides well-lit pathways for us to safely navigate our properties at night.
Effective outdoor lighting is just one way to tie in your outdoor landscape with home safety. Here are some other instances where landscape design can be utilized for safety and security purposes.
A go-to landscape feature for home security, a fenced perimeter is a surefire way of sending a clear message to would-be invaders: “stay out”. There’s a reason that upscale properties are often located in gated communities!
A strong, secure fence surrounding your home not only adds visual appeal to your outdoor landscape, but also leaves suspicious individuals looking elsewhere for more accessible properties.
Plant and Tree Placement
Plants and trees are an integral part of any home landscape, and their placement should be both aesthetically pleasing as well as logical from a safety standpoint.
Refrain from placing tall plants near the entrances of a home, as they can provide cover for intruders. Likewise, trees growing right next to a house can provide a means for burglars to break and enter from a second-story window. Trees can also lead to structural damage if placed too close to a home.
Homeowners should always have an accurate assessment of each tree in their yard and whether or not it poses a threat, be it by a falling limb or the tree itself toppling on top of the house. If you’re unsure, consider hiring an arborist to professionally assess the health of your trees. When planting new trees, do it far enough away from the home where the likelihood of structural damage is lower.
Keeping a well-maintained lawn is an obvious “Landscaping 101” concept, but moreso, it also helps keep your home safe. While most of us would never let our grass grow so tall that it can obscure the view of our homes, it does happen–such as when people forget to hire lawnmowers when going on long vacations. An unkempt, overgrown lawn can be a sign to criminals scoping out your neighborhood that you are indeed on vacation, and that the home is unoccupied.
During the summer months, dying or dead grass poses another threat: a fire hazard. While the occurrence is rare, an excess of dry grass in a home’s yard can lead to, or make much worse, a fire. Whether via a sprinkler system or garden hose, always remember to water your grass often during hot weather–especially in dry climates like Colorado!
Yard Clutter and Debris
A cluttered yard is not only unsightly, but also presents numerous safety hazards. Families with kids should always make sure to clean up toys from the yard after play time, as they present the all-too-common trip-and-fall scenario.
The same applies to home improvement tools, which in addition to tripping hazards may be seen as accessories for breaking and entering. Expensive tools are also targets for thievery, and should be put away in the garage or some other secure area when not in use.
Another way to add an extra measure of security to a home is to implement natural deterrents. Consider putting thorny plants and bushes, such as roses, around areas of your home that would otherwise offer easy access for intruders.
You can also surround the perimeter of your home with “loud” ground cover, such as small stones, pebbles, and certain types of mulch that produce more noise when walked on compared to grass, concrete or decking.
Call the Pros
While home security is by no means our specialty, at RMPS Landscaping we do know a thing or two about landscape design with safety in mind. We’ve worked on hundreds of homes whose owners placed a high priority on home security and safety, helping them achieve these goals through our various landscaping services.
To learn more about our services and how we help design landscapes with safety in mind, contact us today.