Safety & Security
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12 Low-Tech Cabin Security Tips

Easy ways to protect the cabin from would-be burglars while you're away
By Kristin Sutter
Published: February 1, 2012
cabin low-tech security tips
Remote getaways that are visited only seasonally can be ideal targets for potential thieves. The good news is that a would-be burglar’s biggest deterrents are light, noise, and barriers to effortless entry – obstacles that are relatively inexpensive and simple to create at your cabin. Pair these with some common-sense strategies, and you can rest easy knowing your retreat is safe and sound while you’re away.

1. Even if you’ve installed outdoor lighting for aesthetics (and have timers set up to turn on the lights while you’re away), consider adding motion-sensor lights to any areas the standard lights don’t reach.

2. Set up timers on indoor lights so they randomly turn on at night. Periodically switch the timers to different lamps and rooms so your initial “random” setup doesn’t form a pattern.

3. Create the potential for noise with battery-powered stick-on window alarms; an alarm sounds if the sensor is separated from the power source when someone slides the window open. These gadgets also work well on sliding doors.

4. Install locks on fuse boxes and external power sources to ensure your lights and alarms aren’t easily deactivated.

5. Keep 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.

6. Speaking of bushes, consider planting thorny roses or other uncomfortable cultivars under windows.

7. Draw 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.

8. Those fake rocks and other novelties for hiding keys? Yeah, burglars know to look for those too. Consider using a lockbox for spare keys instead; you can change the code on the lockbox as often as you need.

9. Store and lock ladders and tools away so burglars can’t use them to break in.

10. Consider your hardware. The screws that come with a door lock’s strike plate are typically short, which makes it easier for a thief to kick in the door. Use 3- to 4-inch screws to install strike plates instead.

11. Keep up with maintenance. Ask a neighbor or hire a lawn service to mow, rake, shovel, etc. You want your place to look lived in.

12. Don’t forget to secure outdoor valuables like outboard motors, kayaks, riding lawn mowers, and patio furniture, too.
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