Using environmental design to protect your property and prevent crime is not a new idea. A simple search of the Internet for the ancient ruins of the Anasazi Indians in the Southwest will show pictures of their cliff pueblos. You could also search for the ancient ruins of Masada that was built in the days of King Herod. Today, it’s not exactly realistic to build a home on the cliff or mountain top. However, there are a few simple things you can do with landscaping and lighting that will discourage crime.
According to Tim Zehring, the founder of the International Crime Free Association, well groomed landscaping is a good way to deter crime. The image projects a willingness of the owner to defend the property. Trim all the trees so that no branch is lower than seven feet and make sure all shrubs and bushes are no higher than three feet. This will allow the home to be viewed easily from a distance and an intruder will have no place to hide. Not only does a landscaped home keep your property safe, it also adds to the curb appeal. Some of the before and after pictures used by the International Crime Free Association are striking.
Keep any boats or RV vehicles in a storage area that’s off your property. You don’t want to provide a place for potential criminals to hide. Intruders will not want to draw attention to their presence on your property, and if they have no place to hide when neighbors or police cars drive by, they will avoid your house and look for an easier target.
Lights…camera…action are familiar phrases to people who make movies. The more light you have illuminating your property, the better your chances that one of the millions of people with a cell phone camera will witness the prowler and get video of it. Just check YouTube or Vimeo if you doubt this.
Provide a keyless deadbolt on all exterior doors. This will prevent someone with a “bump key” from entering the home while it is occupied. There is no place to insert the key. Swap out the one inch screws with three inch screws in your door. That makes it much harder to kick in because the strike plate is now attached to the stud and not just to the decorative molding around the door.
These are just a few examples of what can be done to make your property safer and reduce the risk of premises liability issues.
If you have questions about the professional management of your Las Vegas rental property, please contact us at Blackbird Realty. We’d be happy to help.