10 Ways to Keep Your Cottage Safe from Break-Ins

Most people are diligent about their home security, but have you given your cottage the same consideration? Cottages and their surrounding property these days typically contain electronics, computers, alcohol, all-terrain vehicles, and other items quite tempting for thieves. Don’t let its location in the countryside lull you into a false sense of security; the fact that cottages are often in remote spots makes them seem like easy targets.

Here are ten ways to keep your cottage safe from break-ins.

1. Maintenance

You might wonder what this has to do with security, but having a well-maintained property indicates you are conscientious and spend a good amount of time there. Don’t leave tools and deck furniture scattered around, and arrange for regular snow removal.

2. Alarm System

You likely have an alarm system in your home, so why not put one in the cottage as well? Place a sticker on the front door advertising this fact. Thieves looking for an easy, low-risk target will be more likely to go elsewhere.

3. Join a Cottage Watch Association

These groups work with the local police departments to ensure the safety of cottages and their occupants. If there isn’t one in the area, work with your neighbours to create one.

4. Ask Your Neighbours to Keep an Eye Out

You can supplement the value of a Cottage Watch Association by asking your immediate neighbours to keep an eye on the cottage and your property. It is also a good idea for them to occasionally put garbage for pick-up in front of your property and/or park their vehicle in your driveway. We would also recommend you extend the favour to them.

5. Leave a Note on the Front Door

Let potential thieves know before they set foot in your cottage that you have an alarm system. Also state your name is engraved on all valuable items, you have noted all model and serial numbers, and there are no drugs, alcohol, money, or other easily stolen temptations inside. Once again, this increases the chances they will decide it’s not worth the time or risk.

6. End of Season Clean Out

If the cottage is not winterized, or you simply don’t use it during the colder months, take our valuables home or store them somewhere secure off-site. If there is no obvious temptation, most thieves will move on.

7. Secure Strike Plates and Hinges

It is not too difficult to kick in a hollow door in a weak frame. Even with those precautions addressed, you can further decrease break-ins by securing the hinges and strike plates with extra-long screws. A deadbolt that extends at least an inch into the door jamb is more likely to withstand a violent attack than one barely long enough to clear the space.

8. Don’t Forget Your Windows

Just locking the windows is not enough. Use pin locks or pieces of wood in window jambs to make them tougher to open. It is also a wise investment to add security film to patio and French door glass. If your doors have glass areas, also add the film there. For extra security, install limiting pins into the windows that prevent them from opening wide enough for someone to crawl inside.

9. Timed Lights

Use a timer to turn on interior and exterior lights at different times in the evening. This helps add to the illusion that someone is regularly home. Motion sensors will automatically turn on outside lights, and photoelectric cells can take care of other exterior light activation and deactivation.


Securely lock your garage because thieves can use that entrance to get inside. Also, if you store tools there, criminals can use these to force doors and windows. Be sure to unplug your garage door opener.

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