To most people, the summer is a time for fun things like cookouts, baseball, vacations, various outdoor activities, and enjoying the fact that it is not winter. Unfortunately, the summer is also the season of vandalism. Acts of vandalism always increase during the summer as they are generally committed by adolescents who are restless on their summer vacations. The property damage that results from vandalism costs homeowners millions of dollars each year to repair. While it is unrealistic to make your home impervious to vandalism, there are some things you can do around your home to greatly discourage it. The following home security tips can help you protect your home from vandalism by making it a difficult or undesirable target.
Install Security Lights
Vandals often work under the cover of darkness which makes bright security lights a very effective deterrent. You should install security lights around the outside of your property that have motion sensors so they will turn on as soon as someone approaches your home. In many cases, motion sensor lights are enough to startle and deter a would-be vandal.
Install Unbreakable Glass and Light Fixtures
Lights expose vandals, so naturally a determined vandal will try to break your lights to bring back the darkness. You can take this option away from them by installing light fixtures with unbreakable glass. These light fixtures are much more difficult and time consuming for a vandal to destroy which will help discourage them from vandalizing your property. You can also install your security lights in places that are difficult to reach like high up on the side of your house or garage.
Install a Fence
Installing a fence around your property is a major deterrent for vandals and intruders. You can choose to fence in your entire yard or put fences around the vulnerable areas of your property. Make sure the fence is a style that is difficult to climb and put up No Trespassing signs to let potential vandals know that you are serious about protecting your home.
Plant Strategically Placed Shrubs and Bushes
Dense bushes and shrubs planted close to your home make it much harder for vandals to approach. Plant bushes near possible targets for vandals such as decks or balconies so that they cannot easily reach them. You can also plant bushes near your windows for added protection and privacy.
Lock Security Gates and Doors
This may seem simple enough, but it is easy to forget to lock every door and gate around your property. Sometimes a locked gate is all it takes to discourage a vandal. Make a routine out of checking the doors and gates around your property to ensure that they are locked.
Clean Up and Repair the Effects of Vandalism Immediately
One of the biggest motivators for a vandal is having their work seen by many people. They are amused by the angry reactions to the damage and brag about their work to their peers. This validates the act in a way and may encourage the individual to commit more acts of vandalism. Failure to clean up the damage also sends the message that your home is an easy target. Make sure you clean up your property immediately to deny them this satisfaction. Vandalism cleaning may involve cleaning up debris like eggs or toilet paper, graffiti removal, or even reconstruction in extreme cases.
Report Vandalism to the Police
Acts of vandalism are commonly underreported to the police. People may not file a report if the vandalism didn’t result in serious damage or if they see the incident as just “kids being kids.” However, you should file police reports for vandalism because it is the job of law enforcement to respond to crimes such as these. Reporting vandalism will also discourage vandals because it sends the message that they will face consequences. Your home will be a less desirable target if would-be vandals know that you call the police.
Support Programs for Adolescents in your Community
Many acts of vandalism are spontaneous and occur when young people are bored and restless. If the young people in your community have something constructive to fill their time, they will be much less likely to lash out with acts of vandalism. Community programs and activities provide a safe haven for kids and adolescents during the summer. These programs not only give young people something to do, but also positively impact them in many ways by helping them make new friends and discover new activities. There are several ways you can support youth programs in your community from donating your time and money to starting a new program.
As the summer approaches, review this list and see what you can do to protect your home from vandalism. Implementing just a few of these home security tips can help you deter vandalism and avoid the headache of dealing with the aftermath. If your home or business in the Minneapolis, MN area is damaged by an act of vandalism, you must react right away to cleanup and repair the damage. Our technicians at ServiceMaster Professional Services provide vandalism cleaning services to remove debris such as eggs and graffiti as well as repair damage to your home. You can reach us at (800) 245-4622 to respond to the damage.