How to Burglar Proof Your Backyard: 8 Essential Tips
Securing your backyard from thieves is one of the best things you can do for home security. Many people focus only on securing the front entrance and ground floor windows of their home.
But if you don’t burglar proof your backyard, it’s very easy for burglars to use this vulnerable spot to break in undetected.
If you have vulnerable items like tools and furniture laying around in your backyard, it can provide burglars with even more motivation to come inside.
But don’t worry just yet. Because you’re about to learn 10 very easy but effective ways to burglar proof your backyard.
1. Get a high fence
If you don’t have a fence surrounding your property, this should be one of the main priorities on your list of security additions.
A tall fence can act as a deterrent and can make it physically difficult to break into your backyard. Even if the thief manages to climb over the fence, it can still make it more difficult to steal and run away with heavier items.
There are many fence types to consider. Of course, stronger and taller fences are always the better option.
10 types of fencing to consider:
- electric fencing
- wooden fencing
- vinyl fencing
- palisade fencing
- wrought iron fencing
- chain link fencing
- razor ripper coil fencing
- clear view fencing
- brick wall fencing
- tall and dense shrubbery (thorny if possible)
The best burglar proof fence is the one that is high and also has a painful security upgrade like spikes or electric wires on top.
Security upgrades for fences
Even if your fence is super high, someone could still use a ladder to climb over. If you leave any step-ups on the inside of your backyard they will also make landing safely even into your backyard even easier.
But the beauty of having a fence is that you can upgrade the top with all kinds of items that would make climbing over it really painful or close to impossible.
These are some of the best fence security upgrades:
- light timber trellis on top of the fence combined with thorny climbers
- barbed wire and razor tape
- broken glass
- commercial fence spikes (even some steel bird spikes can be helpful)
- rotating fence toppings
- anti-climb paint (also known as non-drying paint)
- warning signs
Read more: How to stop burglars from climbing a fence
2. Lock all the entrances
Make sure to lock the main gate and all other entrances to your property. There are many fancy locks on the market, but in my experience nothing can beat a thick chain and a padlock.
My recommendation is the Kryptonite chain from Amazon, which is also commonly used for securing motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles.
Cutting through it would require a strong tool and a lot of effort and the noise would wake up yourself and your neighbors. So it’s hard to imagine anyone trying to do so, unless your house is vacant and in a fairly isolated location.
3. Install outdoor CCTV cameras
Outdoor security cameras can help burglar proof your backyard in three ways:
- Deterrence – Many thieves are afraid of being caught on camera, and will probably go for an easier target than take a risk of this kind.
- Alerts – A security camera with motion sensor and WiFi connectivity can send an alert to your smartphone or laptop when someone enters the monitored area. Then you can act swiftly by checking the area through the camera lens, going out there personally or calling the police. Some surveillance systems can notify a security company or immediately call the police instead of sending you a notification.
- Identification – In case of a theft, any recorded footage can help the authorities identify the criminal and retrieve your stolen items.
You can monitor the entire backyard or only the entrance points, or a mix of the two. Things to consider when buying surveillance cameras for backyard:
- size of the area you wish to monitor
- viewing range of the camera
- the amount of cameras you want to install
To get the maximum benefits from your outdoor security camera, it should have these two features:
- Motion sensor and WiFi connectivity
- Night vision, either infrared or thermal (learn more about the difference)
Keep in mind that bullet cameras have longer range so they’re better for monitoring larger areas, while dome cameras have a wider lens, which makes them somewhat better for monitoring a nearby area like a single entrance point. Bullet cameras are also better for deterrence since they’re more visible.
On the other hand, dome cameras are less vulnerable because the camera lens is protected by the plastic dome from being poked by a stick or getting hit by a rock. A bullet camera can also be turned to another side by the intruder, while a dome camera is completely stationary.
Overall I still recommend bullet cameras for monitoring a backyard. But you may want to consider all the differences for yourself before making a purchase:
Learn more: Bullet vs. Dome Cameras: 6 Main Differences
Camera recommendation: The most popular backyard security camera is Zmodo Wireless Cam. It’s an outdoor, waterproof camera with night vision, motion sensor and WiFi connectivity. It’s pretty affordable, has decent range and is easy to install (mount to a surface, plug in to an electric source, install the app to receive alerts and you’re done).
4. Motion sensor lights
This is another great deterrent. When someone steps within the range of the motion sensor it will trigger a powerful light to illuminate the area. P
lace one or more of these in your backyard and the burglars will have a much harder time sneaking inside at nighttime. Any lights will also improve your camera’s night vision, as long as they’re not too near the camera and facing the camera lens from the front.
It’s best to install motion sensor floodlights behind the camera. It can improve the camera’s image quality while in infrared state, which means better face recognition and recognition of other details.
Recommended security floodlights: Onforu LED Outdoor Floodlights have a great motion sensor with 30-40 feet range. They also have two LED heads which can be adjusted to monitor a wide area. Installation is simple: just mount it on the wall (or any other stable surface) and set up a few wires.
It’s affordable, has over 1000 positive customer reviews on Amazon and is very energy efficient.
5. Use burglar deterrents
By placing anti-theft deterrents around your home and backyard you can scare criminals away. Some common deterrents are:
- outdoor security cameras
- motion sensor floodlights
- dummy security cameras (these ones flash a small red light as well)
- warning stickers and signs
- a guard dog
Cheapest deterrence are dummy cameras and different signs that warn the would-be burglars that you have a surveillance system in place, a guard dog and that you’re not afraid to exercise your 2nd amendment rights to protect your property. Many criminals will rather pick an easier target than risk having to deal with either of those three problems.
6. Protect outdoor furniture and other valuables
Just like leaving a slice of pizza out in the open will attract ants, leaving valuable tools, appliances and furniture out in the open will attract burglars.
The best way to protect these items is by storing them indoors. But if you don’t have any room for these items in your shed or garage and have to leave them out in the open, then consider securing them better as they remain outside.
Locking these items together with a long security cable is an easy way to do it. Concealing a small alarm on one piece of the furniture will trigger the alarm to produce noise in case anyone tries to move any of the locked items.
Check out my full guide on outdoor furniture security for more tips.
7. Secure the shed
If you have a shed in your backyard it could also be vulnerable to break ins. In fact, it could be a major target if you store valuables tools and appliances inside. You can secure the shed by:
- installing a good deadbolt lock
- securing the door hinges (especially in case of outward opening doors)
- protecting windows with a security bar, metal grills/bars, security glass film, alarm
- monitoring the shed with a security camera
- anchoring the shed to the ground if it’s lightweight and could be raised from the ground
Learn more about these tips and a few others in my shed security guide.
8. Use an alarm
If you have security cameras with motion sensor technology monitoring your backyard, there’s no need for installing an expensive security system as well.
But you may want to use a cheap alarm to reinforce a few vulnerable spots in your yard. I suggest using an alarm like Doberman which has a self-adhesive backside.
You can stick it to virtually any surface, and when the object is moved the alarm will get triggered and produce 100+ decibels of noise.
It has a simple on/off switch. But it would probably take some time for the burglar to find the alarm and turn it off if you hide it somewhat.
You can use these simple alarms to better secure areas like:
- the gates or vulnerable parts of the fence
- shed windows
- outdoor furniture
- expensive appliances (lawn mower, portable power generator..)
Final Word: Burglar Proof Your Backyard
The safety of your yard depends on how hard it is to get inside, whether you can detect the burglar in time if he does get inside and finally how difficult it is to steal your belongings.
You can make it more difficult to get inside by setting up a tall fence. Monitoring the yard is fairly simple with security cameras.
Keeping the valuables items properly locked with chains, security cables or indoors will make the job of the criminals that much harder.
Lastly, don’t forget to set up deterrents such as signs and stickers in areas that are visible from outside of your property (on the gates, on the outside part of the fence..). Let the bad guys know that you’re not an easy target and they might switch to your neighbor’s poorly guarded yard instead.
By using a few of these simple and affordable methods, you can make your home and your family much safer. Hope this helps!