Photo by Jasinthan Yoganathan on Unsplash
DoorsMost cabin and cottage owners can make their places more secure by making a few simple changes to their doors. Here's where to start.
Check Your Striker Plate and Replace Those ScrewsCabin owners should start by inspecting their doors. Most front doors have a deadbolt lock with a striker plate on the opposite side of the deadbolt. The striker plate (or “strike reinforce”) is a critical link to the locking system.
Flip LockIf an exterior door has glass near it, a burglar simply has to break the glass, reach in, and unlock the deadbolt. So for glass doors, consider a flip lock, which is longer than the deadbolt striker plate and can be flipped around to allow the door to open normally. When the plate is flipped back and drops into the slot of the plate, the door will not open.
Oh, and Don't Forget About Keys
Photo by Petter Rudwall on Unsplash
Pin Those WindowsAs for windows, Cook recommends that cabin owners use dowels or pins in the frame of the window so that it cannot open completely.
Back-up LocksAuxiliary window locks are also a great option. If you look at your window, the top half stays fixed in place while the bottom half slides up and down inside a track formed by a little lip of metal, which extends out from the wood or sheetrock around the window frame. An auxiliary window lock is a small U-shaped clamp with a tightening screw that slides onto the lip of metal, right above the bottom portion of the window when the window is in the locked down position. The clamp is screwed down until it secures the device, and the window cannot be raised even if the regular window locks are open.
Landscaping Near WindowsKeep bushes and trees trimmed so the views of your windows and doors aren’t obstructed. That way, burglars can’t hide near these entry points and your neighbors will be able to see any suspicious activity.
Photo by Spaylia on Unsplash
Create a Lived-in LookDraw the blinds to make sure valuables like TVs, stereos, jewelry, guns, liquor, artwork, etc. aren’t visible. Don’t be too uniform about it, though; try to maintain a lived-in appearance rather than a “closed up for the next few months” look.
Photo by Nathy dog on Unsplash
Keep an Eye on Your Cabin, Even From AfarBesides making your property less attractive to sneaky thieves by removing valuables, installing better locks, and adding lots of lights, another way to increase security is to install cameras around the outside of the cabin to capture any suspicious action while you’re away.
The images will provide you with evidence (should you need it) and alert you to potential gaps in your cabin security. High-tech surveillance systems are nice, but webcams and trail cameras can be less expensive alternatives and as technology evolves, offer more and more features.
WebcamsThese cameras are small and inconspicuous, and the most basic models are widely available at affordable prices. Set up multiple cameras around your property, then connect them (using cables or Wi-Fi or even LTE cellular) to a computer inside the cabin. The photos taken by the camera are automatically saved to your hard drive or send to an app, allowing you to access them from any computer or smartphone.
Adding an appropriate app or other security software (high-end cameras often come with their own) will allow you to further manipulate your DIY system. Some let you define what types of motion to record (you want to know every time a window or door opens, but you probably don’t need to see each frame of a squirrel scampering past). You may also be able to receive notifications of any activity via email or text message, and program your device to emit a criminal-deterring sound if triggered.
Trail CamerasIf you have neither a computer nor internet/cellular service at your cabin, another surveillance option to consider is a motion-activated trail camera. Hunters and wildlife photographers often use them to monitor animal activity. But many people have found that these weather-resistant, discreet cameras are also well-suited for security purposes.
Trail cameras take digital photos and sometimes videos of movement, storing the images to a memory card inside the box. They are typically battery powered, but some offer solar-power options or may be connected to your cabin’s electrical current for long-term operation. Most also include no-flash, infrared technology for capturing images in the dark.