Prevent Crime with your Landscape Design!

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Did you know that your home’s landscape can have more than just aesthetic value? One of the most surprising functions of a landscape is its ability to make your home safer or a target for crime.  The way your home’s landscape is designed can both invite and deter crime. Here are a few basic principles from CPTED, or Crime Prevention Though Environmental Design.

Visibility is the greatest factor in deterring residential crime. Burglars and other criminals are concerned primarily with not being seen. Therefore, be careful about where you place trees or large shrubs. These plants should not block the view from the street to your front door, side door, or any larger windows. Keep in mind that a person’s eye level is about 5’-6’ off the ground.  Large trees, like palms, that do not have branches or leaves below that level, do not block the view to your house and are not as much of an issue. Also, be sure to maintain your plants to the proper heights. Large, overgrown plant material that blocks the view of the house can make your home more attractive for crime activity. Also, lighting can be a huge crime deterrent. When installing your landscape lighting be sure that lights are strategically placed to provide both visibility and aesthetic value. Be sure that all major entrances and exits around your house are well lit. Finally, get creative with plant placement. For example, plants with thorns can be placed at the base of windows in planting beds. This keeps them out of the way of children and pets but can discourage break ins.

 

The house on the left has limited visibility to the front and side doors from the street. The house on the right is safer because it has no trees blocking the view of the entrances.

Where appropriate, trees should be trimmed to maintain lines of sight from the entrances of the home to the street. Be sure to choose plants with up right growth habits as opposed to a short, more spreading form.

If you have any questions or you would like to schedule an appointment for a free estimate, email us or give us a call at 407-935-9151.

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