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Keeping your property well-maintained is a big part of safeguarding your home, but the surrounding area is important too. Talk to your neighbors and make sure they understand it is not just a cosmetic issue, but one of safety for the entire neighborhood.
If your neighbors' property is overgrown with bushes and trees it may provide burglars with a hiding place they can use to get near your house unseen. The more houses and yards they see in good condition and cared for, the more likely they are to move on to another neighborhood. Outdoor security cameras are another good deterrent. No criminal wants to be caught on video climbing through a window.
If you or your neighbors have large trees in your yards, those are very important to maintain. Trim any branches that reach toward windows in your house so they cannot be used for climbing. Try to keep tree branches at least 10 feet away from windows. No matter how far they are, it is always smart to keep those windows locked.
Vines and plants growing up the side of a house can also be used to climb toward windows, so avoid this whenever possible. There is no sense in giving a burglar incentive to choose your home as their next target.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|