In or last editorial, we offered 'closing for the season' suggestions for those fortunate enough to own vacation or recreational property. That advice centered on what to do inside the property and today's advice concerns the outside of the home and security measures.
Many of these tips also can apply to home owners who "batten down the hatch" outside their homes before winter sets in.
Empty hoses and store them in the garage or shed. Store your barbeque in a secure shed as food residues can attract animals. Stack and store lawn chairs in a shed or under the eaves or porch roof. Dismantle and store umbrellas and gazebos. Metal or glass tables will weather well but to protect your wood tables and other wooden outdoor furniture, store them in a shed or garage. These steps will prolong the life of your outdoor items and add years of enjoyment.
Empty all your flower pots, so they are ready for planting next spring. You'll be glad you did when it's time to replant!
*Conserve on phone bills
As cell phones become more prevalent, more and more people are forgoing "land lines" at recreational properties but if you do have a land line you may be able to have your phone service suspended for a specific period without losing your phone number or paying re-installation charges. This can make a lot of sense if you will be closing the cabin for 3 - 6 months. Check with your phone company.
Police say that more thefts occur from empty recreational properties during the winter than at any other time of the year. Make sure all doors and windows are secure and locked. Close blinds and curtains on all windows (upstairs and down). Some people install wood covers on windows and doors for added security.
Take an inventory and photographs of your dwelling and contents. Write down serial numbers where applicable. This will be of great benefit in the unfortunate event you have to make an insurance claim. Take anything that's really valuable (monetarily or emotionally) home for the winter and check with your insurance company regarding restrictions or conditions with respect to your coverage.
Now you can relax, secure in the knowledge that your retreat is secure for another winter.