President’s Perspective

Our article this month on closing up the cottage reminds me that cottages are prime targets for break-ins during the winter. From where I stand there are a few logical steps that can be taken to protect your cottage and its contents from vandalism and thieves. Cottages are great places for thieves to find valuable items like boats and outboard motors, chainsaws, water pumps, four wheelers and anything else that isn’t nailed or screwed down. But by locking doors, windows and outbuildings will reduce crimes of opportunity. Also it is wise to remove any valuables that could attract vandals, such as televisions, stereo and other electronic equipment. Remove or hide any sharp or destructive tools such as knives, axes, saws, crowbars and hammers. Fire extinguishers can cause a mess, but could be useful in case of fire. Use your best judgment on whether to take these or leave them behind.

If you have any neighbours who stay there year-round, ask them to watch your home. Perhaps they could park a car in the driveway to help make the home look occupied.

If you leave the electricity on, you can use portable timers to turn lights on and off at specific times. You can install outdoor motion sensors that flood the selected area with light whenever movement is detected to enhance security around the cottage.

Other than a good insurance policy there isn’t a lot more you can do about it, unless you are willing to pay for a security system.

If you decide on a security system you can get a basic system that offers protection against burglaries. More sophisticated systems include smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have such a system, inform your security company when you are leaving for the off-season and ensure they have your contact information. My view is that taking the time to properly close up (and secure) the cottage is time well spent.

Safety, It’s an attitude

Jack Smith