Small Cabin

Small Cabin Forum
 - Forums - Register/Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -

Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Break ins/cabin security
. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 ... 17 . 18 . >>
Author Message
Vince P
Member
# Posted: 1 Jun 2008 07:37
Reply 


I just wanted to share with all of you my experiences with trying to keep my cabin secure. My cabin is in a remote part of upstate NY and I knew that eventually, someone would find it and break in. In the time that I've owned it, I've been aware of one trespasser evidenced by the snowmobile tracks in the snow, which prompted me to install a 14’ gate.
This past March, I arrived at my cabin to find the door wide open. Someone kicked my door in and went through the cabin, opening cabinets and drawers to see what I had in there. Nothing seemed to have been taken, which is strange, since I had a generator and a kids ATV inside. Those two items alone could have been a nice haul for a potential thief. It’s likely they may have been looking for guns or cash.
So to make a long involved story short, here are two tips for those with remote cabins:
#1 Most local, or in my case state police will do a free routine property check if you fill out the form asking them to do so. The break-in that occurred at my cabin happened while there was still snow on the ground and the scum who did this knew I wasn't there because of the lack of any tracks. An officer who checks on the property will leave tracks.
#2 A cabin alarm. In my research, I have found only one packaged alarm that is suitable for this type of application.
http://www.cabinalarm.com/index.html
I purchased and installed this alarm. The set-up requires a battery, which was not a problem for me since I had installed a simple solar system this past winter. I like the fact that it doesn't draw any current when armed. The seller's website describes it like this: "Many people believe that alarms don't work for
Remote Cabins or Camps but opportunistic crooks don't expect them and don't plan on them. If this
Cabin Alarm is activated it makes a tremendous amount of noise (inside and out) and it will put the power in your favor"

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2008 21:47
Reply 


One more tip. If you don't already have one, install a hasp with a padlock on your door. This is cheap security that makes kicking in the door much more difficult.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 11 Jun 2008 09:18 - Edited by: CabinBuilder
Reply 


That's nasty surprise.
Unfortunately there is always that risk...
I often think about it when not visiting my cabin for a some time.

I thought about setting up a hidden motion-sensor camera. Often those bad guys are same suspects and are known to the local police.
Camera would also capture wild life, to see what's going on around cabin when you're not there. Hunters and nature lovers use those to capture animal photos.

Suka
Member
# Posted: 13 Jul 2008 20:10
Reply 


I've been thinking about this. I'm planning shutters for the windows/door so when they're closed show an iron grate, when open show a shutter(asthetically pleasing). Should be pretty easy, just make your hinge point out far enough to accomodate the shutter, figuring on a piece of 1/8 by maybe 1 1/2" flat iron bolted to the outside edge of the door/window jamb sticking out through the siding to paddlock to. 2 per door/1 per window.
May sound extreme, but it'll keep the "honest" people out.
My shop in the local industrial area I put wrought iron grates over all the windows and an opening grate over the doors. When I first did it, all the neighbors made me the brunt of their jokes. Wasn't long till all my neighbors got "hit", my shop wasn't touched. Lesson learned, and now they all sport the same security.
Most potential crooks are not only stupid, they're lazy.
Best of luck.

lawco18
Member
# Posted: 2 Dec 2008 19:56
Reply 


I feel that cabin security for absentee owners is hopeless. When I bought a Mazda Miata convertible someone asked me if I knew that I should never lock my doors. If you lock your doors it will only slow them down long enough to slash the cloth top and I am out another $500.

The 18 acres I have in Lawrence County Ohio is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It is so overwhelming that I sometimes find it hard to relax out there. But, less then a mile down the road people live in abject poverty. I do not have a cabin out there yet, but next spring when I build it I do not plan to even install a lock on the door. I will not lock the cabin and I will not keep anything of value out there. Come in and look around just don't crash my door in or break my windows.

I am installing a farm gate at the end of the driveway this weekend. There is a true possibility that next time I go out there the gate will be removed by a local and sold for scrap. Last I checked aluminum was about 75 cents/pound.

swanugly
Member
# Posted: 3 Dec 2008 22:01
Reply 


i am hoping that the friendship i have made with the neighbours will save my cabin . it took 4 years , when we go up there they come to visit and are our friends . they always mention the low crime rate around there , thats because everyone watches out for eachother . but you never now till you go back in the spring .

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 4 Dec 2008 13:29 - Edited by: Vince P
Reply 


lawco,
I would say your right about leaving your cabin open as a remedy for break ins, but it might not be good idea for the more common vandalism caused by kids, who may not even attempt to kick in a door.
I personally went with putting in an alarm that runs off my deep cycle battery because it is within earshot of two or three year-round neighbors and as swanugly mentioned, making friends with these neighbors is probably the best thing you can do...assuming you have neighbors. I leave the window blinds open, so a potential thief can see what's inside (old table, chairs and a hand-me-down couch)
I had originally planned to buy a more remote parcel, but the land agent, knowing my concern for security, steered me toward my current property. He was right.

stringcheese
Member
# Posted: 4 Dec 2008 20:55
Reply 


I use a motion sensing wildlife camera pointed at the driveway of my home when I'm away. It has infrared flash and takes pictures in the dark. Time delay (7 seconds) makes it worthless to catch a moving intruder but it takes great photos of the front door and garage when someone comes to visit. My log home is remote and not visible to any neighbors.

Camper
Member
# Posted: 5 Dec 2008 09:42
Reply 


Security is a big issue for anyone owning a remote cabin. I know my cousin owns a cabin and found it ransacked on one trip; nothing taken, just kids being destructive. Amazingly, they found out who did it and the parents paid for the damages.

My biggest fear isn't vandalism or theft. I don't have much of value in my cabin and I can fix anything that gets destroyed. My biggest fear is, and would be even worse if I was located in the Midwest/Appalachia near abject poverty, a Meth lab. We are all setting up a perfect situation for these types of labs rural, remote, not continuously lived in, with stoves, lights, heat, etc. The biggest problem with this scenario is, your cabin would then be dangerous for you to stay in and you are not insured for this. You may also face some liability issues if you gave free access to your property and something happened there. My advice would be to practice due diligence and put a lock on the door and get a No Trespassing sign.

jo_yo
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2008 21:08
Reply 


i have a small parcel of land near lake eufuala in OK i live a lil less than 2 hrs away im still in building stages of my cabin and lounge area and i have to agree with camper.... i go check on my place once a mnth not becuase im afraid of someone still something hell the used lumber im useing is hardly worth taking anyways.. im truley worried about showing up to some random tweeker batchin him off some dope at my expence just what we all need right ... true you might not go to jail but you are gonna have to make them believe you dont know what was goin on.. only good thing is ill be running mine off grid so theyll ahve to bring in their own stove maybe they will pick the neigors house instead.. i have nt signs up but still find tire tracts so next come a barb wire fence least the cops will know i tried

mohavered
Member
# Posted: 31 Dec 2008 17:41
Reply 


good thread ! too bad dogs need attention otherwise they could constantly guard the place.
perhaps having a group of people all sharing the cabin and rotating the times when they would be there ? so as to have constant occupation, this would be a good idea if there were lots of items of value stored there.

ptoddf
Member
# Posted: 27 Apr 2009 21:01
Reply 


I put roll down security gates on my concrete block cabin windows. These are not the bullet proof New York City type, but the lighter metal ones used on storage unit bins. Sure someone can break in, that's always true. But they can't throw a stone through a window and step in. Suits me. I have a lot of personal items inside. I got mine through a steel building company online, forgot which one. They're made by DBCI for self storage buildings. Cost me about $1K delivered on a pallet for 4 windows, one of which is 10' wide. They're made to size. I added angle iron to beef up the sheet metal sliding tracks and make them look more heavy duty. Best, Todd F.

nosfuerato
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2009 20:46
Reply 


I bought a cabin in eastern TN last year and discovered a break in a few months ago. The thief basically took everything of value but fortunately most of the items were already in the place when I bought it (stereo, clocks, etc). Still, it was irritating because I hadn't really ever thought about crime being a problem.

I am considering putting a gate at the bottom of my steep driveway as a deterent, though I'm not sure it will be much help....

Thoughts?

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2009 21:19
Reply 


Quoting: nosfuerato
am considering putting a gate at the bottom of my steep driveway as a deterent, though I'm not sure it will be much help....

I have a gate and it made no difference when my cabin was broken into. I really installed it to keep folks from thinking my driveway was a road.
On a related note: I recently saw a sign I might purchase that read: "TRESSPASSERS WILL BE SHOT, SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN"
lol

nosfuerato
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2009 10:19
Reply 


nice :)

Thanks for the input Vince.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 8 Jun 2009 10:32 - Edited by: CabinBuilder
Reply 


Quoting: CabinBuilder
Unfortunately there is always that risk...
I often think about it when not visiting my cabin for some time.

- that was my post on this thread on 11 Jun 2008 ... and here it comes - I just had a cabin brake-in this weekend - broken window, stolen chainsaw and other items... The evidence thieves left strongly points to a particular neighbors. Police came on my report and talked to those and other neighbors - policeman also thinks they did it but without hard evidence we could not lay charges.

It seems like breaking in and theft is a common problem with unattended cabins. I can't help it but to see it as unfortunate part of life out there - just swallow it, learn lessons and move on.

Now I'm thinking of how to deal with such things in the future.
The policemen that came suggested hidden cameras - that may help catching the thieves but not preventing the act. Perhaps a sign "Property is monitored by hidden cameras" will help.
I will think of something...

ptoddf
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2009 12:15
Reply 


My cabin has a past history of breakins through windows. It also had a large "TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT, SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN" sign. Didn't work. My roll down window gates and security locks have worked so far. I also have a 20' steel cargo container on site that I can put my best stuff in. With multiple locks, this is pretty resistant to breakins -- no windows. It's also weather and mice/rat proof, unlike the usual storage shed.

I agree most crooks are lazy opportunists. Not too many safe crackers up in the mountains, but the use of "bump keys" to open pin tumbler locks is common among lazy burglars. Moral: don't use pin tumbler locks, they are easily opened by fools with cheap Internet ordered bump keys. It happened to a neighbor in the California mountains. Best, Todd F.

cabinbasics
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2009 14:36
Reply 


I've seen in the past little battery alarms that have two spring-loaded prongs that go between door and window sashes. When the windor or door is open the spring disconnects the circuit and the alarm goes off, loud enough to startle, but probably not deter. Plus when left going off in the woods it would be 3 years before wildlife came back.

Thought about a trap door in the floor as the final exit with the door and windows bolted down from the inside.

Anybody tried those motion sensor digital hunting cameras? I supposed if they flashed they would get stolen too.

He-he - Maybe some really scary government signs at the front drive like "WARNING - POISONOUS NUCLEAR WASTE MATERIAL DISPOSAL SITE" or "INFECTIOUS DISEASE BURN SITE - CLASS III PROTECTIVE SUITS REQUIRED". How bout "ROAD KILL DISPOSAL SITE - AIRBORNE E-COLI BACTERIA PRESENT". One of my neighbors put up a size "WARNING - HIGH-POWERED RIFLE RANGE - NO TRESSPASSING".

nosfuerato
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2009 14:50 - Edited by: nosfuerato
Reply 


Quoting: CabinBuilder
The evidence thieves left strongly points to a particular neighbors. Police came on my report and talked to those and other neighbors - policeman also thinks they did it but without hard evidence we could not lay charges.


This was the exact situation of my break-in. The police were pretty sure it was a neighbor down the street but the a search of their property didn't reveal any of my stuff, probably because they had broken in weeks before and had already unloaded everything.

The police actually suggested that I booby trap a shotgun to the door. That seems a bit extreme to me but I might change my mind on that if i get a few more robberies.

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2009 16:06
Reply 


Most of you probably have done this already, but try installing your door so it swings out. This makes it almost impossible to kick-in your door.

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2009 16:13
Reply 


Also, as I mentioned above, the lesson I learned from my break-in was to make the cabin contents visible by leaving blinds open, so a potential thief can see that I only have old junk inside. All valuables have been removed and I store the generator under the kitchen table. My antler rack collection might have some limited appeal, but it's not visible through the blinds and would take a bit of time to get them off the wall.
Windows and doors can be further secured with locking hasps and security shutters.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 9 Jun 2009 16:38
Reply 


Quoting: Vince P
Most of you probably have done this already, but try installing your door so it swings out. This makes it almost impossible to kick-in your door.

Unfortunately that was the "problem" in my case - thieves tried to break the cabin door and couldn't (it swings out), so they broke the window...
My mistake was leaving valuables visible from the window. But they were taking even half-full boxes with nails and a nylon rope from the dollar store... how cheap is that!

LauraLou
# Posted: 16 Jun 2009 13:40
Reply 


We're considering not having a driveway at all. And our future cabin would not be visible from the road. If anyone wanted to break in, they would have to first stumble upon the cabin by way of a long and steep hike through the woods. That being said...we will be working our a$$e$ off trying to get our building materials up there!

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 17 Jun 2009 08:33 - Edited by: Vince P
Reply 


One thing I've been considering is screwing in a heavy wire screen on the inside of any windows. This might make it more difficult to get in if a thief can't kick open the door.
screen.jpg
screen.jpg


lawco18
Member
# Posted: 27 Jun 2009 14:33
Reply 


I still don't understand how it is possible to keep valuables secure in a remote cabin. I had a discussion with one of the locals out there about cabin security. He has lived out there his whole life, and this is how he explained it:

Locks only keep honest people out. Honest people will trespass on your property, and find your cabin. If it is locked, they will look in the windows out of curiosity and move on. Dishonest people will try to break in and steal anything there. He explained that if they have too much trouble breaking in, they will just burn the whole place down.

I just can't comprehend the idea of trying to secure any valuables out there. No locks. No valuables.

Vince P
Member
# Posted: 28 Jun 2009 09:30
Reply 


Quoting: lawco18
still don't understand how it is possible to keep valuables secure in a remote cabin.

Your right, it isn't possible, but the idea of this thread was to try and make it more difficult to break in, to keep the dishonest types with less initiative out.
Again, keeping your blinds open to make the contents visible goes a long way.

Anonymous
# Posted: 15 Jul 2009 20:25
Reply 


BUT EASY TO PRY OPEN......

jo_yo
Member
# Posted: 15 Jul 2009 23:16
Reply 


im about to start the second phase of my cabin city/gypy camp and i think im gonna leave everything wide open and a note on the door sayin please come in then one inside that says hers a hammer fix somethin for me ... i bet someone steals my hammer

lawnjocky
Member
# Posted: 16 Jul 2009 09:43
Reply 


When I was a kid we used to build small shacks on islands on San Francisco Bay. We would sail out in our little boats and camp. Over time these shacks accumulated dishes, silverware, pots, pans and other stuff. Many people were using them and everyone seemed to leave something. There was never a problem with vandalism or theft. I ran into the same thing up the coast on the beach at Mendiceno. There many people were living in shacks on the beach. Eventually the "authorities" bulldozed the beach. The "authorities" also removed our island shacks.

Times were different back then. You could hitch hike across the country with no concern what so ever. After not picking up a hitch hiker for years I picked one up a couple of months ago and he turned out to be a drunk Indian mental case. I won't do that again for a while. Like I said times are different.

My place is hidden away about a mile away from the nearest forest road. My property does back up against the National Forest and I once found atv tracks almost up to my property in the NF. I have found horse tracks on the property that were probably from one of the area ranch hands since New Mexico is an open range state.

Every time I go to the property I wonder if I will find the door open. So far I haven't had a problem.

I did buy a big job box that I have chained to a tree for tool storage. I do not have any curtains so I try to keep anything interesting out of sight.

Jocko

jamez
# Posted: 30 Jul 2009 16:05
Reply 


I would like to build a small remote cabin in the future to live in full time and as far as security goes I'm thinking about camouflaging the cabin some how. Maybe growing some vines and bushes around it so it's mostly covered, something along those lines.

The other security issue aside from the cabin itself is the driveway leading to it. Any driveway visible from the road is basically a flag signifying "something this way". Obviously you need somewhere to park your vehicle though. For this I thought about having some distance from the driveway to the hidden cabin so it's not clearly visible from the end of the driveway. Maybe a bit of a hike. To me the best security is being as hidden as possible. The ultimate would be some kind of earth shelter or partially underground place.

Anyone do anything like that?

. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 ... 17 . 18 . >>
Your reply
Bold Style  Italic Style  Underlined Style  Thumbnail Image Link  Large Image Link  URL Link           :) ;) :-( :confused: More smilies...

» Username  » Password 
Only registered users can post here. Please enter your login/password details before posting a message, or register here first.