SECURING THE COTTAGE WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE
Countless Canadians invest time, money and sweat equity into their cottage. So why do so many people not invest in a proper security system to protect that property when they aren’t in it?
A good cottage security system will do many things for cottage owners. For example, it provides 24/7 “eyes” across the property through strategically mounted CCTV cameras. It also deters intrusions, while monitoring for costly broken water lines and storm damage. Perhaps most importantly, it provides peace of mind about the owner’s piece of cottage heaven.
There is, of course, a financial aspect to cottage security as well. According to a recent article in theGlobe and Mail, most cottages appreciate in value in the long run. Those appreciating assets should have the same kind of security as residential and commercial properties. And for those owners looking to sell, a good security system will factor well in the negotiations. At the same time, CCTV cameras used to monitor the property could also provide real-time images for potential buyers from around the world.
Here are three things to keep in mind when considering cottage security systems:
How frequently – and when – is it occupied? For most Canadians, the cottage season runs from May to September, with occupancy from Friday to Sunday evenings and some full weeks between the season’s bookends. That is, the season is predictable, something potential intruders know full well. Mix it up to diminish that predictability and lessen the intrusion risk. And if that means inviting up your in-laws more often, then so be it.
Is your property helping or hindering your security system? Use nature to your advantage and don’t let it create security problems. For example, properly prune trees away from windows and doors. Keep clean sight lines to your windows and door from the street (or beach). Consider planting thorny plants near all the windows and doors, while removing small rocks (ie, potential window breakers) from gardens. Hiring a local property maintenance firm to make the cottage looked occupied when you aren’t there is worth the money, as high weeds and towering snow banks all-but invite unwanted “guests”.
Do you have adequate power back-ups? Many cottages – especially those well off the beaten path – are susceptible to power outages for a number of reasons, including inclement weather, aging electricity infrastructure and nibbling animals. Don’t let your security system suffer from these risks. Adequate on-site back-up power systems will help keep the lights on and the “eyes” open.
Cottages are meant to be enjoyed. Invest in a proper security system and embrace the experience without the worry.