Start in the Street with DIY Home Security
Begin your DIY home security inspection outside the home, looking at it from the street the way a burglar would. There are a few things you can do to make sure your home is decidedly unattractive to a burglar! Cut back bushes that offer hiding places, especially bushes near doors and windows and even your garage. If you have a tall fence or hedge which hides your house from the street, rethink it. At the very least trim it. Try to keep a car parked in the driveway even when no one is home. And last, but certainly not least, have your home security system sign displayed in your hard.
Check all Doors and Windows
Do a check of the locks on all your doors and windows. Consumer Reports has a nice rundown on locks, as well as good advice about doors and strike plates. Make sure all the windows lock in both closed and open positions and keep them locked. When securing in the open position, make sure the opening is too small for anyone to get through. Do this same inspection on your garage and any outbuildings too.
Let there be Light!
Review your use of lighting both during the day and then again in the evening once its dark. Also, compare the lighting that’s on when you’re home vs. not home. Does your home look occupied when you’re gone? If not, use timers or a home automation system to make it look lived in.
Take a look at Night
While it’s dark, check for additional hiding places caused by shadows or poor lighting. Most break-ins happen during the day, but not all. And what might not be a hiding place in daylight could be concealed in the shadows of the night.
Review your Home Security system before your next Military Move
Finally, consider your home security system and its current condition. Is your system aging? It might be time for an upgrade, especially if you want to take advantage of the new home automation features now widely available. Also, review where you have your video cameras set up. You may decide to move the cameras to a better vantage point based on the hedges or bushes you’ve already trimmed.
Bonus: Use a Home Security Checklist
If you want to go beyond these 5 DIY home security steps (and you should!), take advantage of the many resources available online. The National Crime Prevention Council has a user-friendly inspection checklist to help you evaluate your security practices. Even if you are midway through your current tour with expectations of moving in the next 12-18 months, a safe, secure home with a trustworthy security system will make your home that much easier to sell or rent when its time for your next military move.