Thursday, November 12, 2009

Security Landscaping - Part Three - The “3 - 7” Rule Continued

If living in an urban or suburban area, be sure to mow your lawn and have someone pick up newspapers and mail if you are away – IE: Don’t advertise that your home is ripe for the picking.

To keep burglars from reaching upper windows, remember the 3-7 Rule and keep ladders and your tools (garden/homesteading) out of sight and locked up! Windows in outbuildings on the compound should be at least 10-12 feet higher than the ground level outside the structure. This deprives the intruder from seeing inside and from having easy access to get into the structure, while still allowing plenty of light to shine in. Don't place sturdy trellises and gutters against walls of buildings that might be climbed to gain upper floor or high window access.

If your houses are near a road or in a neighborhood, make sure your landscaping provides a clear view of your house from the road. Hidden homes are ideal for burglars. One of my friends on a semi-rural farm in Tennessee used to have several large evergreen trees and bushes, blocking most of their house from view from the road. Thieves took advantage of this one time when they were away. They have since cut them back.

So even if you live in the country it is not wise to have a thick border of shrubs blocking the view of your house from the road. If you do, it is best to keep them pruned low enough to allow visibility. Remember that 3-7 Rule or have some kind of wireless alarm or motion detector lighting that will go off and alert you.

As a homesteader or rural living person, even if your house is hidden from the road due to a long driveway, it would be wise to have a good clear view of all entry points around your home or inner compound and a wireless driveway alarm or two, to avoid “surprise” visitors. If you have additional buildings in your compound like barns and work sheds, it would be a good idea to utilize additional wireless driveway alarms and motion detection dusk to dawn outside lights for blind spots and the like. The additional seconds that these devices give you to protect yourself and yours, could be life savers. One of my friends in Idaho has wireless, motion detection sprinklers that go on when tripped. As he put it “a very cold, soggy, running away icicle intruder, that made cracking noises as he ran, is easier to hear, spot and catch than a dry quiet one.” Needless to say his intruder experience occurred in the winter.

As an additional incentive, a friend of mine in Wyoming uses the lights and alarms around his vegetable garden and orchard. He set the wireless audible alarm to blast (like an air horn) at the site instead of in his house and the motion detection lights to strobe; he says this has scared away bear, cougar, deer and elk. Not to mention that it alerts him, even while inside the farmstead sound asleep at o-dark-thirty. He is off-the-grid so the energy needed must be minimal or solar.

Urban, suburban or rural it is always wise to have good lighting in dark corners around the home and in the immediate yard or compound. Solar powered dusk to dawn lighting is the best and shouldn’t drain your energy supply. Even the fancy “up lighting” for trees and tall shrubs will help deprive intruders of a place to hide and many are solar powered as well. Not to mention that they make the compound look good to boot! My dear Montana homestead friends have these up pointing under the second story windows to rooms they do not have populated on a routine basis as well as on trees around their compound. They give them festive colors around the holidays. Looks great!

The next installment in this special series on security landscaping will be:

Security Landscaping-Part Four-Types of Thorny Plants

CK, a 50 something, soon to be rural homesteading Prepper.


Anonymous said...

Very good article - thanks for writing and posting it. I would add besides having any equipment / items like air conditioners to be far away from the window sills as well to act as a platform to climb upon.

I remember reading an old article by Al Ventor in Mel Tappan's Personal Survival Letter about measures Rhodesians had to go in their rural homesteads. Heavy window covers to hide any light was of course always done before any lights were done.

Masonry window screens were erected several feet in front of windows to help rocket propelled grenades from being sent through the openings - a little excessive, lol, but you never know.

Spiny plants planted below window sills would also discourage getting close to them - that will likely be in next installment, but just saying to make sure.

Chief Instructor said...

Excellent! I'm picking up something from each of these posts. I really like the water sprinkler idea, and the up-lighting on rarely used rooms. Simple and practical.

Anonymous said...

Great post RW. When we built the garage we only put in 1 window and make sure it has blinds on it. Keeps prying eyes out!

Kentucky Preppers Network

riverwalker said...

CK has done a great job in putting this together. I'm just glad CK has allowed me to post this information for everyone's benefit. The best is yet to come!

Thanks everyone!


BTW, Sorry Matt but all the credit goes to CK for this excellent series of posts.

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