Abandoned cottages attract thieves. How to defend against them?

According to police statistics, crime in Slovakia has been decreasing for a long time. This also applies to cottage break-ins, the number of which decreased by 25 percent last year compared to 2017. However, in the winter season, when recreational facilities are abandoned for many weeks, the activity of thieves is at its highest for a long time.

In the following tips, we will reveal how to defend against them and thus prevent an unpleasant surprise when returning to the chat.

According to the statistics of the Police, the trend of decreasing criminal activity also applies to breaking into cottages. This year, from January to August, 182 burglaries took place, compared to the same period last year, so we can talk about a decrease of approximately 22 percent. An even more significant decrease of three percentage points can then be observed when comparing the statistics from the whole of last year compared to 2017. Especially in the cold months that are just beginning, abandoned cottages are the most attractive to potential thieves. This danger can be eliminated in several ways.

The windows will be protected by safety films, gratings and shading technology

Windows can be considered the generally weakest point of any cottage. They can often be overcome with less effort – often a stone is enough. In this case, security experts recommend primarily mechanical security. The solution can be, for example, gratings or safety foils. While the first method of protection can represent an insurmountable obstacle for a potential thief, security foils rather slow down the entry of uninvited visitors into the cottage.

Another variant in terms of security can be the use of shielding technology. “In addition to providing maximum shading, external blinds also function as a safety feature. Special springs prevent unwanted mechanical lifting and keep the slats in one plane. Unlike grilles, they also fulfill a design function, because their appearance can be matched with any element of the building thanks to the countless number of variants,” said Jan Malysz from the Lomax company, which specializes in the production of shading technology and garage doors.

Cleaning or changes in the surroundings can help

For many of us, the onset of the winter season means that we thoroughly winterize the cottage before the hard frosts and don’t show up until spring. This kind of approach presents an ideal opportunity for potential thieves. Therefore, experts recommend that the cabin owners come to check the cabin from time to time, even during the winter, and with their activity scare off a potential thief who has been watching the building for a long time. It is important that the owners visit the objects at irregular intervals, rake leaves and shovel snow.

Thanks to this, it will not be obvious at first glance that the cottage has not been visited for a long time. And although the police check the cottage areas as part of preventive activities, they appeal first of all to the owners to adequately secure their cottages and occasionally check them on their own initiative. It is not necessary that every cottager has to take care of his object himself. It is ideal to agree with a neighbor or neighbors with whom they will take turns shoveling snow or clearing leaves. The one who is currently on duty notices all the changes in the surroundings and if he doesn’t like something, he contacts the owners of the cottage.

An often underestimated garage

It is not advisable to underestimate even the main entrances to the building. Similar to a classic house or apartment, it is worth investing in high-quality security with a six-level security class for the front door. However, in the case of a cottage, it is certainly not necessary to choose the highest class, the third or fourth level of security will be more than enough. In this case, both types of doors are made of puncture-resistant materials and use a number of mechanical elements, such as numerous locking points or spikes against tearing out.

However, according to experts, it is necessary to think about all entrances when leaving the building for a long time. “While security doors are becoming a standard at the main entrance, people often underestimate the entrance to the garage. Thanks to this, this part of the house can become the weakest element of the entire building in terms of safety. The solution in this case is the installation of high-quality gates, the gearbox of which can prevent unwanted lifting. At the same time, mechanical stops can be combined with various electrical elements at the gates,” Jan Malysz outlined the security of the garage.

Remote security service

One of the reasons that deters thieves from breaking into real estate every year is the growing popularity of security systems. One of the reasons is also the increasingly frequent connection of the object to the centralized protection desk in the given region. A more demanding option is to equip the cottage with a complex security system, which not only triggers an alarm in the event of intruders entering the building, but also immediately notifies the owner by phone that an uninvited guest is trying to enter the building. A big advantage is also the connection to the security agency, which usually arrives at the crime scene in a few minutes.

While with older security systems thieves took advantage of the fact that it was enough to cut them off from the power source, current models report damage or disconnection from the power grid to the owner. At the same time, they have their own power source. Thanks to the use of modern technologies, it is possible to have an overview of what is happening even in a remote object, for example using a smart phone. It is possible to control not only the security system, but also shading, for example. The movement of blinds at a distance can give a potential thief the impression that someone is in the cottage and deter him from breaking in.

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