Whether you are an established homeowner or a PCSing military member, home security is crucial for your peace of mind. The best home security for military families doesn’t have to be expensive systems and cameras in every corner of the home.
Solid home security starts with optimizing your space and reducing the temptation for lurking robbers or burglars. From affordable camera options to simple DIY home security ideas, we’ve compiled our best tips to ensure your military family stays safe during your next Permanent Change of Station (PCS).
The Importance of Home Security
With many military families renting their homes, effective home security can be achieved through efforts from both the landlord and renter. Home systems provide that extra layer of security, which also functions as a primary selling point for potential military renters looking for homes with already installed systems.
However, there are a range of options available to both renters and owners wishing to improve their home’s security that don’t involve costly security systems. Conveniently, these effective and inexpensive home security ideas don’t require major home renovations.
More Like This: For maximum family safety, review these Backyard Safety Tips for Military Landlords, Renters and Homeowners.
Military Security Cameras
Security cameras for PCS military housing don’t have to be extensive or expensive. Placing cameras on all four sides of the home and strategically angling them can be enough to deter thieves and give you the reassurance you deserve.
Amazon’s Blink cameras come in a variety of options, all at a low price tag. Through Blink, you can observe each camera’s view from your phone by downloading the app. For extra measure, you can also purchase their $3-per-camera plan. This plan will automatically record anything that triggers your cameras, ensuring any suspicious behavior is thoroughly documented.
The garage might seem an odd focus for home security. However, for a thief, an open garage offers an easy way to slip inside and assess whether a home has valuable items inside. Even when closed, a garage door with windows allows for a clear view if a car is parked inside. Therefore, giving criminals the information they want to know regarding your whereabouts and if you are home.
Unfortunately, older garage doors can be easy to open from the outside, offering a relatively simple means of forced entry. To prevent criminal entry through your garage, you can install solid, windowless garage doors with safety latches to keep them from being forced open.
Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure any first-floor sliding windows in the garage or throughout the home are extra secured with a window dowel. This will keep your window latches from being broken and the panel being forced open.
Criminals look for easy targets. Homes that can be entered and left with minimal chances of being seen are a thief’s dream. An easy DIY home security idea is to increase visibility at all of the potential entry points surrounding your home.
Make your home as unattractive as possible in this regard by keeping entry points well-lit. Motion sensor lights are an effective, efficient way to keep your home illuminated. They are also great for spooking away someone who may be sneaking around your yard.
Shrubbery can both improve and detract from your home security, depending on their location. Strategically place thorny shrubs near first-level windows to make it more difficult for someone trying to gain access to your home. Keep in mind that shrubs allowed to get high and thick enough can provide cover for someone trying to break in unseen, having the opposite effect of their intended purpose.
Optimize the Interior
Home security isn’t just about the exterior of your home! Window treatments can block visibility to prevent easy assessment of your valuables while still letting in natural light. You can also put lamps and lights throughout your home on timers, giving the impression that someone is always at home. Doing this keeps criminals from identifying your schedule and targeting your home when it is most vulnerable.
Quick Home Security Tips
The best DIY home security ideas are the free ones! You can adopt numerous free and easy strategies to increase your home security and make your place less of a target.
- Check your trash: Avoid putting out boxes from your high-ticket purchases on trash day. Nothing screams “rob me” more than the massive empty box of that 85-inch flat-screen TV you purchased last week. This rule goes for any trash items that can give thieves an idea of the quality of items within your home.
- Obvious hiding places: It’s common for people to hide a spare key to their house under a potted plant or beneath the front door mat. This gives criminals the opportunity to stroll right through your front door, and they wouldn’t even look suspicious because they would have a key! Consider giving your spare to a trusted friend rather than hiding it right outside of your home.
- Use your garage: If you can, prioritize parking your car inside your garage. This will prevent your vehicle from being broken into during the night. Yes, it’s worth the effort of cleaning out the garage.
- Gates and lights: While it may be tempting to leave the back gate unlocked for the lawn guy, keeping it secured whenever possible is crucial. Much like leaving a key under your front mat, an unlocked gate only invites criminals into your backyard area. Placing a flood light right at your back gate will scare away anyone sneaking around.
Find Secure Military Housing with AHRN
Here at AHRN, we connect service members with personalized military housing options. Simply sign up and define your housing preferences to view apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family homes that align with your needs.
Take a close look at each listing to gauge the existing home security measures being taken and the DIY improvements you can make once you move in. Finding a home near your next military installation has never been easier!