How To Prevent Your Property From Being Vandalized
Vandalism is one of the most common forms of crime committed against American households, with approximately 15 percent of Americans falling victim each year. Vandalism is more than spray paint or broken glass, however — it’s a violation of your sense of security as a property owner. Even if the damage is relatively minor, an act of vandalism can shake a property owner’s confidence. If it was that easy for someone to damage your property, how easy could someone get away with something much worse? What’s more, vandalism can damage and depress the spirit of a community as well as property values. Preventing vandalism is something that should be at the top of every property owner’s mind. Here are some common-sense tips you can follow to help protect your property, your neighborhood and your peace of mind.
Keep your property well lit.
It’s common knowledge that vandals often gravitate toward the easiest target, and dark spaces make vandalism that much easier for them. Not only should you keep your inside lights on to let people know someone’s home, but you also should install exterior lights around your property. Equipping exterior lights with motion detectors can put enough of a scare into potential vandals to keep them away and help ensure they won’t come back.
Install a fence with a secure gate.
A vandal certainly will think twice about vandalizing a property if he or she has to climb over a fence or try to break into a locked gate. It’s also recommended that you install fencing around areas such as corner lots or passageways that would make attractive entry points for criminals. Always make sure your gates are locked, too.
Plant bushes or shrubs.
Planting greenery such as bushes, shrubs or trees not only improves the look of your property, but it also can help deter vandals. Greenery can make it much more difficult for vandals to reach your property, especially if they have thorns, rough bark or pointy leaves that can make the effort of climbing them or crawling through them as uncomfortable as possible.
Use video cameras.
Placing video cameras in plain sight around your property is an effective deterrent against vandalism and burglary. As eager as vandals may be to show off their work after the fact, they don’t want an audience watching them in the act. Though if they are bold enough to commit their crime while on camera, the video evidence can be extremely useful for police.
Clean up vandalism ASAP.
Vandals deface property because they want it to be seen. Cleaning up graffiti or broken glass as soon as you find it on your property can discourage vandals from coming back in the future. A vandal is much less likely to hit your property a second time if he or she knows the evidence won’t be there for long, especially in the case of graffiti.
If you see something, say something.
Although it’s true that police are busy and have more important crimes to deal with, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t report instances of vandalism. A history of reports can let police know where they should patrol more often, and any information can be useful in finding and arresting vandals.
Keep your windows covered.
Vandalism is a crime of opportunity, and that means most vandals will strike only if they feel comfortable doing it. The less certain a vandal is about whether or not anyone is home, the better for the property owner. Having blinds, curtains and drapes closed while keeping your lights on makes it harder for vandals to see what’s going on inside, which may convince them it’s not worth the effort.
Use break-resistant glass.
Shatter-resistant windows and light fixtures can make it much more difficult for vandals to damage your property, especially with lights. Because they prefer the cover of darkness, vandals typically go for lights first. Yet if those lights are too hard to shatter, they’re more likely to give up.
Support community programs.
Preventing vandalism is a community problem and a community effort. Supporting programs that keep would-be vandals busy and off the streets can reduce vandalism. Whether your support takes the form of donations or volunteerism, such programs can help stop vandalism from becoming a problem in the first place.
slideshow created by Gate Options