In a day and age where theft and burglary is constantly in the news and home invasions are happening every day, home security is something we should all be thinking about. Even though we take precautions to ensure our homes are as impenetrable as possible, the current and future reality is that we need to go a step beyond that. Instead of thinking in terms of curb appeal, it is time to start thinking in terms of curbside security.
So many people buy property and the first thing they do is go wild planting trees and bushes. Sure, these are aesthetically pleasing and good for the environment, but they also provide cover for unsavory types wishing to creep up on your home undetected. Instead of adding excess foliage and therefore shadows, keep a clear area around your home on all sides extending out a good 50 feet or so. This not only provides safety against fire should said foliage go up in flames, but it also gives you a clear view of what or who is outside of your home. Additionally, if necessary, that clear space gives you an unobstructed shot at intruders.
If you must have foliage, make sure it is foliage that works for you. One way to do this is with a garden planted in concrete planters such as cinderblock raised beds that are placed in locations that block vehicles from getting too close to your dwelling. These should also be too low to the ground to hide persons at no less than 12" in height and ideally no more than 24". The other alternative is to plant foliage that is an enemy to human flesh, such anything with thorns. Hedge rows can also be used to block entry and to cover windows but remember that anything with the ability to block entry will also block exit.
Photo: Small Farm Big Heart
Even though no one wants sound to keep them up at night, there are some sounds that are beneficial, such as those that are a part of an early warning system. Forgo a nicely paved driveway for a gravel one and you will be gifted with the sound of a vehicle approaching. Gravel can also be used for walkways and under windows or even a barrier around the entire house while still maintaining an attractive appearance. If you wish to pursue other sources of noise, you can always add a dog or two, but even better is a flock of chickens. Sneaking up on a rooster and his hens under the cover of night is a tough task if there ever were one as chickens make quite a ruckus when something is amiss.
Speaking of darkness, it is the ally of the thief. People with bad intentions are going to seek the path of least resistance which in all likelihood is the darkest one. In order to combat an approach under the veil of night, light up your house. It doesn't have to be constant light or light projecting from every angle. Instead opt for battery operated motion lights that trigger when approached, placing them in strategic locations that discourage approach and alert you to it at the same time. These lights will also blind intruders when properly positioned, slowing their retreat and enabling you to get a visual of who is creeping around your place.
Tempting though it may be, try to avoid isolating your neighbors. This means not only befriending them so they are willing to keep an eye on your place and will contact you if something seems odd but also ensuring that whatever obstacles you do have in place does not block their view of your home. Sure, you want privacy, but a nosey neighbor can be one of the best security systems you can have, especially when the grid fails and your actual security system is kaput.
Photo: Guy Sports
There are many things we can do to reinforce our homes and make them more secure. The main thing is that we start doing those things if we have not already done so. In a world where police are being picked off right and left, it is only a matter of time before things are completely out of control and irrational behavior is running unchecked. In times such as this, it is important to get those major home fortifications out of the way now. However, don't forget about the small ones either as sometimes a simple beware of dog sign may be enough to thwart the efforts of someone who has been bitten before or is far more scared of Fido than he is of you.
What have you done to make your home and property harder to infiltrate from the outside? What else do you intend to do to secure it? Let us know in the comments.