No one wants to come home to a yard that’s been pillaged—especially if you have pricey tools in your shed, expensive outdoor furniture, and precious grilling accessories. To help keep your backyard safe from burglars, use these nine tips.

1. Hide Valuables
If you have an expensive grill, outdoor entertainment system, lawn mower, or other tempting goodies for thieves, hide them. Cover grills with a tarp, bring TVs and sound systems inside at night and make sure people can’t see your goods from the front yard. Out of sight will be out of mind for an opportunistic thief.

2. Landscape
Burglars don’t like traipsing around out in the open, but they won’t mind casing your home if you have lots of bushes and trees to hide in. Burglarproof landscaping requires you to trim vegetation back so intruders don’t have a place to hide. Even consider adding cacti and thorny plants to gates and fencing to prevent theft.

3. Get a Dog
Nothing says your backyard is off-limits like a barking, growling dog. If you don’t want to bring home a four-legged friend to be your backyard bouncer, consider adding a Beware of Dog sign to deter burglars from wandering into your yard.

4. Put In Motion-Sensing Lights
Stop a burglar dead in their tracks with motion-sensing lights. When anyone—animal or person—walks underneath one of these lights, it’ll turn on like a prison yard spotlight.

5. Install a Home Security System
Stopping someone who enters your yard can be as easy as sounding the alarm. If you set up a home security system with 24/7 monitoring and home automation, cameras and motion sensors will help you detect an intruder entering your yard or home. Plus, you and the monitoring station will get an alert if an alarm is sounded—alerting the cops right away. Automatic alerts help you react more quickly if you’re asleep or on vacation.

6. Put Up Fake Signs and Fake Security Cameras
If you don’t want to install an entire security system, you could look into fake security installations. While a fake sign won’t do you any good if a burglar calls your bluff, it might make them think twice before entering your yard. Install fake security cameras with obvious blinking red lights, yard signs, and window decals branded with convincing security company logos.

7. Secure Your Garage and Shed
Padlocks work wonders on preventing burglaries. But make sure you purchase locks made of durable material that can withstand the elements, crowbars, pliers, and hacksaws. Finally, always lock up at night and when you go on vacation!

8. Install a Fence
While barbed wire doesn’t look particularly quaint, you can install an iron fence with pointed spikes to keep anyone from climbing over. Or opt for a sturdy stockade to keep unwanted visitors out. If you want to keep intruders out but still want a fence to match your design tastes, make sure it can’t be climbed over easily and the gate is secure.

9. Buy a Pool Alarm
If you have pool furniture that you can’t lock down or put away every night, install a pool gate alarm so if someone enters unannounced, it’ll let out a loud beep. Pool alarms also work double duty at keeping out pool hoppers who might want to take a dip without your permission.

Hopefully, you’ll never be the victim of a backyard burglary. If you’re worried about it, use the previous nine tips to safeguard your yard from people up to no good. Taking a few steps to improve your security will help protect you and your property in the future.

All images courtesy of Safewise.

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