As the weather warms, highways across the country will be filling up with cars heading out of the city and into the country and lakesides as cottages once again open up for the season. For most, it’s the annual start to another fun-filled summer of sun, barbeques, and swimming. Yet for too many, returning to a second home after a winter away is a horrifying experience. Some families arrive at their beloved summer residence to discover that at some point during their absence a burglar broke in and stole valuables, trashed their rooms and left a sinking feeling of despair.
Burglaries are unfortunately common, with a thief striking every minute-and-a-half. Though with cottages, some owners may not realize a crime occurred until they return after months away. By that time, it’s difficult for police to determine the time frame of the incident and gather clues. Most summer homes are not insulated for the winter, meaning they stand empty for months at a time. Still, some residents are hesitant to install a home security alarm.
Much of the reasoning is, however, based on misconceptions. Because lakeside neighborhoods are active and friendly during their peak months, some may assume that their residence is secure all year-round. Unfortunately, the majority of families will leave the region during the colder months, leaving their property completely unattended. Last winter, two teens were charged with the burglary of over 40 cottages in a matter of weeks. Because of the isolation, burglars can conduct a spree with less fear of interruption and discovery.
Cottage owners may also feel that, unlike their primary houses, they have little worth stealing in the second home. This simply isn’t true. Many vacationers will have sporting gear, fishing equipment, tools and possibly guns around their property. According to police in Northern Ontario, a popular cottage hotspot, stolen firearms from these summer homes are a growing problem. Not only does this cause more danger to the community, but the cottage owner could be charged for improper storage. Officers recommend video surveillance to deter criminals and catch any prowlers in the act. In remote regions, this is one of the only surefire methods for locating a potential burglar.
Aside from stolen merchandise, break-ins can also result in significant damage to the property. One cottage owner’s association warned this year’s vacationers about the increase in vandalism on seasonal properties. Any repairs or maintenance to summer homes are more difficult, time-consuming and costly due to the remote location.
Even in Muskoka, Ontario – one of the ritziest cottage areas in North America where several celebrities have homes – owners call break-ins in the region a fact of life. If even residents of the exclusive area, where home prices hover around $1 million, can’t escape crime, how can any cottage owners expect to avoid the unfortunate incident?
Don’t risk your summer and the safety of your family. Protect your property by visiting: alarmguardsecurity.ca or call 1-866-282-3331 for a free quote.