Your garden could be increasing your home and family’s safety and security or it could be putting it at risk. Here are our top 9 security tips for the gardens of South African homeowners:

1.       Pack Tools, Equipment and Furniture Away

This tip does not only apply to tools, equipment and furniture that is visible from the street but to any such items in your garden. This is because these items could be used by burglars to break into your home in addition to enticing them to target your home in the first place.

2.       Utilise your Garage Space

If you have a garage, use it! Leaving your vehicles outside can attract burglars and thieves. Parking vehicles outside as an indication that someone is at home does not deter criminals as effectively as other strategies such as automatic lighting.

3.       Install Motion Sensing Lights

On-demand lighting is one of the best ways to deter burglars and avoid a home invasion. These lights will turn on as soon as motion is detected thereby deterring the criminals, alerting the occupants and making suspicious behavior visible to your security company and neighbors. Motion sensing lights should be installed along your driveway as well as in your backyard for maximum efficiency.

4.      Trim Trees, Bushes and Cut Grass

An improperly maintained garden with an overgrowth of shrubs and bushes, thick overhanging trees and long grass poses a threat to security as perpetrators can hide and lie in wait without any chance of being spotted. Keep grass cut and trees and bushes trimmed throughout the year.

5.      Install a CCTV System

A CCTV system with at least one camera that is visible from the street may be a good idea as it will likely deter burglars from targeting your home in addition to helping you spot suspicious behavior, looters and anyone surveying your home. Even a dummy CCTV system or unmonitored system is better than none.

6.      Install Point-to-point Beams and Sensors

Outdoor sensors and point to point beams that are connected to your home security system are a very effective warning system against intruders and burglars. These can even be placed on balconies and roofs where security is usually minimal and unauthorized entry very common.

7.      Training Man’s Best friend

Guard dogs are a great deterrent against criminals as well as a good warning system when something isn’t right. If your dogs are behaving strangely and barking – always investigate from inside the home and call your security company if the barking does not stop or if it stops suddenly which could be indicative of a poisoning. A trained guard dog will not eat poised meat and is a worthy investment.

8.      Plant Thorny Bushes and Cacti Below Windows

By planting thorny bushes and cacti below ground floor windows you will disable criminals from prying into your home to determine the number and location of occupants - which is what they will always do prior to launching a home invasion.

9.      Lock Windows, Doors and Garages

This may seem like a no-brainer,  however, many homes are burglarized because home owners leave windows, balconies or doors open and sometimes these entry points are visible from the street. Garages which lead into the home must always be locked and have a motion senor installed as this will be your first warning of an impending attack or burglary.