A House in Shining Armor—Securing Your Perimeter

Posted on A picture of a suburban home with a secure roof

Before criminals can threaten you inside your home, they must first make it through your perimeter. If you can secure your home from the street to the rooftop, potential intruders will be in a hurry to do their dirty work elsewhere.


Secure Your Roof

In the spring of 2016, burglars used blowtorches and grinding wheels to cut their way through the roofs of two banks, making off with about $5 million. You probably don’t have $5 million stashed away inside your house, but this story brings up a good point. A determined burglar can get around your existing security precautions by using your rooftop.

If you have venting skylights or a roof access hatch, make sure hinges and locks are in good condition. If you don’t have a lock, consider installing one. Check the glass in your skylight—can it be broken easily? Additionally, if you’re concerned about a burglar attempting to cut their way into your home, you may want to consider having a steel roof installed. Aside from acting as literal armor for your house, steel roofing is often made from recycled materials and absorbs less heat from the sun, keeping your home cooler.


Cameras
Security cameras are still one of the best ways to protect your home. The sight of them alone will scare off most criminals, and those stupid enough to try to burglarize your home anyway are likely to be caught in your security footage. It is best to have multiple cameras that can capture intruders—good locations include front and back doors, off-street windows, backyard, side gate, and basement-access stairwells.

Outdoor Lighting
Criminals love darkness because it makes them invisible. Therefore your first line of defense should be bright, well-placed outdoor lighting. First, consider street lighting as a factor in home security. If your neighborhood provides excellent street lighting, then the need for exterior lighting around your home is lessened. Then, use an array of exterior lighting fixtures to give your home total coverage.

Some intruders are smart enough to cut the power to your lights, blinding both you and any security cameras in the vicinity. Solar powered light fixtures’ wires are more difficult to tamper with, making them a solid alternative—and they’re eco-friendly, too!

Driveway Alert Alarm
This is a nice feature for safety, as well as general convenience. A driveway alert alarm will let you know whenever a vehicle or pedestrian has entered your driveway. This is a great way to know when it’s time to greet visitors, but it also lets you know whenever a strange vehicle approaches your home.

Plants
You don’t need a line of giant carnivorous plants to make an intruder think twice about entering your home. Large plants with thorny stems placed in front of ground-floor windows often make very effective thief deterrents. Popular thorned plants include:

  • common holly
  • giant rhubarb
  • shrub rose
  • yucca
  • barberry
  • honey locust
  • cat’s claw acacia
  • pyracantha
  • bougainvillea
  • buckthorn
  • cactus

Cacti that could be used for home security

Written by
Jillian Anderson Slate
Jillian is an insurance professional, working in commercial lines, with experience reviewing property conditions through that perspective.