If you divide your time between two homes, like a primary residence and a trailer or cottage, there are steps you can take to help protect it while you’re away. Are you worried about break ins, flooding, and more? These tips will help you prep with the best of them and rest easy knowing you did everything you could to protect your home away from home.
Make It Look Like You’re Around (or Coming Back Any Minute)
For a cottage or trailer, consider these ideas to make your home look more lived in and deter break ins.
- Install motion activated outdoor lighting
- Keep your valuables out of sight, in a safe, or better yet, take them with you when you go away for longer periods of time
- Consider putting up a gate with a lock at the end of your driveway – remember each barrier you place makes a break in less appealing to a thief
- Make friends with your neighbours, particularly those who are there on a full-time basis – give them your cell phone number so they can contact you if something seems off or strange
- Hire help to cut grass, shovel snow, or ask neighbours to park in your driveway, or tie in at your dock every now and then
- Put up signs that indicate the property is monitored, both by the road and on the water way (even if it’s not)
- Placing an old cut off hockey stick into the track of your sliding doors or window jams make it harder for anyone to force a door or window open
- Consider installing cameras and/or hiring an alarm company (especially if you’re in an area that has frequent break ins). Alarms can also be installed in the windows and door of your RV, and cameras can be installed near your dock.
- For RV’s invest in a hitch lock which will make sure that anyone who doesn’t have the key to your mobile home is unable to drive away with it
- Install additional deadbolts and don’t hide keys on or around your property (leave them with a trusted neighbour instead)
How likely your cottage is to flood is directly related how close it is to a body of water. If you look out the window of your property and see water, odds are you’re on a flood plain. With a property with placement like this, contact your insurance provider to make sure you have coverage for flooding. To read more CarGenerator tips on preventing flooding in your home or cottage click here.
Tamsin Lyle, the principal at Ebbwater Consulting, a company that provides flood management solutions, told Cottage Life, “If you’re building a new cottage or home, it’s very important that the lower levels are either lifted up above what’s called a flood construction level, or that the materials used in that area of the home, the lower part, are designed to be wet.” Tamsin also reminds people to keep any valuables, family heirlooms, or photos out of the basement. If you have an attic – keep them there instead. She also suggests opting for tiles instead of hardwood in lower levels of your cottage. Set yourself up for regular weather-related Google email alerts in the area around your cottage/mobile home to monitor any potential flooding warnings.
Power Out Freezer Trick
Ever come back to your cottage and see that dreaded flashing light on the stove? You know you’ve lost power, but you aren’t sure for how long! To know whether the food in your freezer is going to be safe to eat, try this expert tip. The next time you’re about to go away for an extended period freeze a cup of water in your freezer. Once the water has frozen, place a quarter on top of it. If you check the freezer and the quarter is still on top of the cup, you’re good to eat the food from the freezer. If it’s sunk to the bottom, it’s time to throw out your food.
To find out more about what is safe to eat out of your fridge and freezer following an extensive power outage click here.