According to Forbes, seventy-five percent of US homes will be broken into sometime in the next 20 years. A significant number of these burglaries will occur after trespassers gain access to the home via the backyard.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to improve your backyard security that can greatly reduce your home’s odds of becoming one of these statistics.
Below, you’ll find six proven measures for making your home and yard a less attractive and attainable target for thieves.
How to Improve Your Backyard Security
Backyards are a beacon for thieves. Not only do our yards often contain valuables that are easy to steal, such as bikes, barbeque grills, and entertainment items, but the backyard often provides covered access to our home.
It is crucial to take steps to secure your backyard, so it is less accessible to would-be burglars. Here are six simple ways homeowners can do just that.
1. Install a Security System
This measure is a no-brainer but also one that is too often overlooked. Close to 75% of homes in the US still do not have a security system. And many of those that do have one fail to put up cameras and sensors in their backyard.
There are so many different options for security systems these days that you’ll find something out there for every budget, situation, and need. Any one of the leading new security alarm systems available will provide a substantial step-up in security for your home and yard.
Whether you choose a self-monitored system or a more expensive, professionally monitored product, you’ll significantly reduce your burglary risk.
Homes with cameras and alarm systems are less likely to be targeted by thieves. And, when a break-in does occur in a home with an alarm system, the robbers are less likely to stay once the alarm has been tripped.
Security systems are a simple way to turn the covered access point that your backyard provides into a well-monitored area that burglars will avoid.
2. Secure Your Outbuildings
If your backyard contains sheds and other outbuildings, it may not be the backdoor to your home that thieves are targeting when they walk onto your property.
These small buildings often contain valuables and are rarely secured the way a home is. Burglars know this and will go into yards specifically looking for an easy score in the form of expensive landscaping or sports equipment and other items often stored in garages and sheds.
You can use security systems to secure garden sheds and outbuildings, but you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure these buildings do not attract attention. This means using visible locks on doors and windows, blocking windows with curtains or cardboard to prevent people from looking inside, and upgrading the hardware on all entry points.
3. Add Security Lights
One reason thieves target backyards is that these parts of our property are often out of sight from the road and, at nighttime, very dark. Adding security lights can give all the illumination your yard needs to deter thieves. Plus, it has never been easier to add lighting to your yard.
Today, there are hundreds of options like solar security lights that don’t require any wiring or extensive installation. They are also just as bright and reliable as wired-in security lights.
Placing motion-activated floodlights near your gate, backdoor, and sheds will make your yard a less desirable target for thieves.
4. Fence It
One of the best deterrents against trespassers is a fully fenced yard. While any type of fencing will make it more difficult for burglars to casually walk into your yard, only a tall, privacy-style fence will truly hinder their ability to get in.
Six-foot or taller wooden privacy fences are difficult to scale, especially if there are no trees or other objects nearby that can be used as steps. Posts with sharp pickets at the end are doubly effective in warding off trespassers.
This security option is far more expensive than others on this list but can be well worth the investment in the long run.
5. Install a Self-Locking Gate
Of course, a fence is only as strong as its weakest point, which is why you should also have your backyard gate lock fortified.
Ideally, this lock should be inaccessible from outside the gate. In addition to positioning the lock so it can’t be reached over the top, you should ensure there are no gaps between the gate and fence that would allow someone to get their hand through.
Self-locking latches are a great option as they allow you to shut and secure the gate from the outside while remaining unreachable from that side of the fence. If you do choose a lock that can be accessed from either side of the gate, be sure to use a sturdy padlock to secure it.
6. Install a Gate Alarm
Whether your gate is secured with an inaccessible lock or not, a gate alarm can be a valuable addition to your security measures.
These types of alarms are common on pool gates as a means to alert parents to kids entering the pool area unsupervised. But they also work wonders on yard gates as a deterrent.
Gate alarms work by emitting a loud beep whenever the gate is opened. This simple measure can be very effective in sending would-be trespassers running in the other direction. Some alarms, such as those meant for driveway gates, can be programmed to siren if a gate is opened or left open for longer than the set amount of time.
Safe Backyard, Safe Home
Securing your backyard will require more than a single solution. Luckily, there are many effective ways to improve your backyard security. Some combination of a security system, security lights, a fence, and locks on all gates and outbuildings is your best bet for thwarting would-be thieves.
Have questions about any of the suggestions above? Post them in the comments section below.