Staying safe at home – Landscaping

The landscaping of your yard can be a big part in keeping you and your home safe from criminals. Even if you live in an apartment or condo, you still have to pay attention to the landscaping of your complex to ensure it is safe.

The owners or management of your residence, where the grounds are taken care of by someone else, such as in some Home-owners Association, apartments, and condo’s, are more concerned with aesthetics rather than security. Understandably they want the property to be as appealing and sale able as possible.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate into keeping the grounds safe & secure for residents. Bushes that are chest high, trees that overhang the roof or close to balconies, and blind spots of lighting can be aesthetically pleasing. However, they may be pretty to look at but can be deadly to an individual if a criminal wants to do harm.

Ensure that if you have ornamental bushes next to the house, that they do not grow past the bottom of the window. They may look wonderful and appealing growing up the window to give you more privacy. But they can be, and actually are, a colossal danger. How you may ask? If someone wants to break into your house, then they want to do so unobserved. If the bushes grow past the bottom of your window, then you are allowing someone to potentially hide and work on opening it, being totally unobserved. If you must have something growing in front of the window then plant a rose or similar thorny, bush. A plant or bush such as this doesn’t allow them to hide as easily and you can still see out.

The same goes for any bushes you may have lining your driveway, front sidewalk, or entry walkway. They are aesthetically pleasing but can also hide someone who wishes to assault you or surprise you close to the door, which means less time being exposed to anyone who may see.

Also ensure that they are planted at least 2 feet from any exterior wall. If you plant them close to the wall, it is easier for someone to hide. This allows you to visually inspect behind them so you can observe anyone. Burglars or other criminals will do whatever is necessary to gain access to you, a nice hidey hole, or electronic items/drugs that can be pawned or sold.

In virtually all 50 states, trees can be another way for criminals to get in or otherwise steal, assault, or do damage to your home. If you live in an apartment, then it is definitely a threat to get in.

I’m willing to go out on a limb and state that most people don’t think of a tree as a threat to their home security. I have lived in the Midwest and some of those Oak trees can grow extremely large. And the limbs can also be strong enough to hold a man as large as 250 lbs. if they can climb on one, then they can gain access to your 2nd story windows and roof. Or in an apartment even the 3, 4, or 5th story balconies or windows.

You must trim them so that if the limbs do reach your roof, that they can’t support a human not even a child (trees that high are a kid’s dream to climb & jump off of!). And if you do live in an apartment, then inform your complex office that there is a problem with the trees – and don’t back down if they dismiss you.

Give them a couple of weeks to remedy the situation and if they don’t make your message to them even stronger. And being disabled you have to keep documentation of what you said and did. That way they can’t evict you for causing problems later.

Don’t forget about your lighting. You must have adequate lighting around your home or complex or you’ll be inviting criminals. At the very least you should have lights over and above every exterior door in your house… that work. This will allow you to potentially scare someone away if you feel threatened for any reason.

In a complex, lighting is just as important. Ornamental lighting is perfectly acceptable, unless it is strictly ornamental and does little to illuminate the property. There are many lighting units that can be placed next to sidewalks and illuminates them, using solar power… meaning no construction or light bills. At the very least the complex needs to have area lighting as well throughout the grounds, so that anyone who doesn’t belong there can be closely scrutinized.

Facebook.com/oneistoomany or Twitter: @robertsollars2

                                  I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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