5 common cottage weak spots

What needs fixing to keep thieves out and valuables in

By Ray FordRay Ford


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It’s tough to deter professional burglars when no one’s at the lake, but most B&Es are committed by opportunists who will move on if getting in is a challenge. Removing valuables limits the damage done to your wallet, but you can also make your cottage a tougher nut to crack with simple fixes to common weak spots.

Click on the links for helpful tips from our sister site, Canadian Home Workshop.

1. Deadbolts aren’t deep enough

Exterior doors are harder to kick in or pry open if fitted with deadbolt locks, but look for a bolt penetrating at least 1″ into the door jamb.

2. The strike plate isn’t secure

Fasten the door’s strike plate with 2½”–3½” screws, penetrating at least ¼” into the wall stud.

3. Sliders can be jimmied

Drive large, flat-headed wood screws up into the top track of sliding glass doors, far enough in so the screw heads sit just above door level, about 10″ apart. The screws prevent intruders from lifting the door up and out (this works for sliding windows too). An old hockey stick or broom handle in the bottom channel of the slider keeps it closed even if the lock is forced.

4. Window locks aren’t sturdy

Pin double-hung wooden windows in place by drilling through the top corners of the inner sash into (but not through) the outer sash. Drill at a slight downward slant. When you leave, slide a nail or bolt into the hole to lock the sashes.

5. The glass is vulnerable

Install blinds to hide goodies and shutters to deter entry of humans, animals, and errant branches.

This article was originally published on June 17, 2010

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