Your fence is your first line of defense against burglars and intruders. Even if it isn’t impenetrable, bullet-proof, or lined with security guards, it can still be rather effective in preventing a burglar from even taking an interest in your home, or from getting onto your property. Don’t just think of your fence as a decorative item or something to keep your kids and pets in your yard; think of it as a security device. Here are ways to set up your fence to maximize home security.
Consider the height of neighboring buildings
Burglars are not the only individuals you don’t want looking inside your home. If you live next to a public building, or even next to residents you don’t know very well, think about the height of their property compared to yours. If the neighboring building is two stories high while yours is only one, then having a fence that is only one story high between the two of you still makes it quite easy for people on the second story next door to look into your property. If you don’t know or trust your neighbors, and their building is two stories tall, then so too should be your fence.
Try to minimize footholds
Select a fence style that is difficult to climb. Chain link fences might feature some of the most durable material, but they also provide plenty of little slots for an intruder to put his feet and climb up. Solid wood fences with perfectly smooth slats don’t contain any ledges or slots for someone to put their feet and are nearly impossible to climb.
Create a drop or obstacle on the other side
Even if someone does manage to climb to the top of your fence, they’ll think twice before hopping over if they see that the drop on the other side is much steeper than anticipated. Ask your landscaper to put either a drop or an intimidating obstacle such as a thorny bush, in the land directly on the other side of the fence. Most intruders won’t risk breaking a leg or falling into thorns to get onto your property.
Strategically place the lock
First off, your perimeter fence should obviously lock from the inside. But having the lock up towards the top of the fence can make it easy for a burglar to reach over and unlock it. Position the lock further down, more towards the center of the fence, so that it’s hard for outsiders to reach.
Make sure it goes deep into the ground
If your fence only stands on top of the ground or goes a few inches into it, someone can easily tunnel under it by doing some digging. Make sure your fence reaches deep into the ground—deep enough to discourage someone from taking a shovel to it and trying to burrow under.
Adjust the height for privacy and views
The trouble with having a tall fence all the way around your property is that, while outsiders can’t look in, you also can’t look out. Remember that your fence doesn’t have to be the same height all the way around. You can have different heights in different sections, rising high in front of rooms with valuables, and dipping down slightly in front of the rooms from which you like to survey the street.
Pick the right materials
Metal posts or rails make for the strongest fences, but if you really want a traditional picket fence, opt for rot-resistant wood. You don’t want the elements deteriorating your fence, making it easy for a burglar to push a panel right through. Adding concrete footing to your fence is another great way to prevent someone from tunneling under it.
Don’t just choose the first fence that looks nice around your property. Make the most of this item to secure your home.