Gardens and your security

In South Africa, we are fortunate enough to have the space to grow our own beautiful gardens. We all like to pride ourselves on the beauty we have created; but have you ever stopped to think if your garden compromises your security?

Let’s start with gardens that are well kept. Hedges, and bushy plants create good hiding spaces for criminals. Most of the time, these areas are not well lit, and this creates a good surprise tactic for a criminal when you return home. If you want these types of plants, then make sure they are well lit at all times! Make sure you remember that they are a weak point in your security, and always be congnicent of the fact that someone may be lurking there.

Tall trees are also a good place to hide, so always remember to look up!

Gardens that are not well pruned and looked after become sleeping places amoungst other things, for the potential criminal. If you are going away for a lenghly preriod, make sure you have arranged for your garden to be kept tidy!

The ‘broken window syndrome’ generally refers to graffitti and derelict buildings. The train of thought is that if one property looks unkept, then criminals start seeing this area as a place to breed more crime. ‘The residents don’t care = they won’t mind us here’. The same can be said about your garden. Foilage and dead/untidy gardens are also a contributing factor in this regard.

The Do’s and Don’ts when gardening for your secuirty:

  • DO plant cacti and thorny bushes on your verges if you are having issues with the homeless using your property for ablution facilities
  • DO keep low cut hedges around your permimeter so that you can easily see your boundary
  • DO make sure to keep your garden well lit; especially in the more dense areas
  • DON’T have large over-hanging trees over your fence (especially if you have electric fencing). These branches make for good ladders!
  • DON’T let your garden become unruly and over-grown
  • TRY avoid keeping your garden furniture close to boundary walls (another good ladder)
  • DO avoid becoming complacent when coming home- check all corners and be aware of your surroundings
  • DON’T use outdoor alarm technology that will just false alarm continuously. There are various devices for different applications; so make sure your sales person explains how the device works, and that it is the correct one for your outdoor area
  • DO fit locks and possible alarm equipment in your outdoor shed

Keep our Village and community looking beautiful with your colourful gardens; and always keep in mind that you can garden to improve your security!

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