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It is important to keep your property in good condition. Criminals are attracted to property in poor condition because they see that the owners or tenants do not care about it. So keep curb appeal in mind for your neighborhood and at the same time send the message to would be burglars that someone is watching after your home.

Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. Keep property free of trash, litter, weeds, leaves, dismantled or inoperative vehicles, and other things that indicate neglect in caring for your property.

Fences, walls, and gates

It’s a good idea to enclose rear and side yards with fencing. Check with your land use department to see what type of fencing is allowed in your neighborhood. 

  • Open chain-link or ornamental metal fencing are recommended unless there is a need for privacy or noise mitigation. Chain-link fencing should have its bottom edge secured with a tension wire or galvanized pipe, or should be seated in concrete to prevent easy lifting. 
  • Solid fences or walls are not recommended around your property because they are easier to climb, provide hiding places for intruders, and are subject to graffiti. 
  • To prevent easy screw removal, mount gate latches with carriage bolts and make sure that the nuts are welded on, or the bolt threads are stripped to prevent nut removal. 
  • Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added security. 
  • Repair broken fences and gate locks. 

Landscaping

  • Trim trees so that limbs don't provide a means of getting on roofs or second stories, or of getting over a wall or fence. 
  • Plant bushes with thorns or prickly leaves under ground-level windows to make access more difficult for burglars. 
  • Plant bushes with thorns or prickly leaves along fences and walls to make climbing more difficult and prevent graffiti. 
  • Trim bushes to less than 3 feet to eliminate possible hiding places, especially near windows, sidewalks, and exterior doors. 
  • Trim tree canopies to at least 8 feet to allow visibility into your property. 
  • Make sure that trees and bushes do not block lights. 
  • Remove loose rocks and other objects that could be used to vandalize your property.