Protect Your Cottage This Summer

Whether you have a simple, rustic cabin in the woods or a fancy, upscale chalet with all the amenities, your cottage is your home away from home. Many people look to their cottage as a place of relaxation, to unwind in comfort while taking in pleasant views, and to connect with nature. So, it's not uncommon to find cottages equipped with fishing gear, personal water crafts, ATVs, and expensive entertainment systems.

With all the bells, whistles, and peaceful views, many cottages tend to be vacant for a good portion of the year. Taking this into consideration, you might want to protect your cottage home and reduce your risk level for theft while you're away. Here's a list of precautionary tips for you to consider so you can better protect your cottage home this summer.

Safekeeping & Maintenance

  • Avoid leaving valuable equipment outside in plain sight while you are away from the cottage. Take the time to put away expensive sporting equipment like ATVs and kayaks into storage. If you have a shed, make sure it's locked.
  • Make sure expensive electronic items inside the cabin are not easily noticeable through a window. If you will be away for a long period of time, it might be worth it to take your flat screens and stereo systems home with you.
  • Always lock your cottage door anytime you leave the property.
  • Don't leave small boats and canoes in sight of passing boats. Make sure they are not near the shore and bring them higher up on the property.
  • Store ladders and outdoor furniture away so they cannot be used to enter the building through a window.
  • Keep the exterior of your cottage nice and visible.  Put away deck furniture so thieves do not have a place to hide.
  • Maintain the cottage on a regular basis and if you will be away, consider paying someone to cut the grass. Long grass may indicate that no one has been at the property or the property has not been used in a while.
  • Consider intentionally leaving inexpensive yard tools like old rakes and brooms out in plain sight. People will be able to see signs of activity in the yard, without having to walk all the way to the cottage itself.


  • Use electronic programmable timer switches on indoor cottage lights to give the appearance that someone is home while you are away. You could have random settings that will mix up the times lighting turns on and off.
  • Have the place lit-up at night so that neighbours can see if there is any suspicious activity inside.
  • Use outdoor motion sensor lights that will turn on when someone walks by.


  • Install an alarm system to make thieves think twice about entering your place, and to scare them off if they do enter.
  • Install motion-sensitive digital cameras to help document anyone or anything who comes on your property when you're not there. These cameras will help you snap pictures of license plates and faces which can be used as evidence if something does happen.
  • Limit access to property by installing a gate at the front of the driveway.
  • Install "No Trespassing" or "Property is Monitored" signs. This lets potential thieves know that you've thought about security.

Neighbours & Cottage Watch Group

  • If you trust your cottage neighbours, let them know if your cottage will be unoccupied for a while. You could have them stop by and check the property on a regular basis. If there happened to be a burglary, the sooner the damage can be reported, the better it is for both the police and you, the property owner.
  • See if you can organize or join a Cottage Watch group in your cottage community. This is a great way to protect all properties in your area and often works with the local police. This reminds cottage owners to report suspicious activity in the area.

Although you cannot know for sure if you will be a victim of burglary, you can certainly do your part to protect your cottage by taking the necessary precautions mentioned above to discourage would-be criminals from breaking and entering. After all, your home away from home is meant to be a place of relaxation, and for creating memories with your family, friends, and guests. Do your best to protect it.