Make Summer A Breeze

Here's some handy tips to help protect your summer vacation homes.

If you are a like a lot of Canadians, you’ve probably spent the winter dreaming of getting back to the cottage or cabin and summer fun. Here are some tips and considerations for making sure your summer home getaways are both fun and safe this season:

Initial inspection

  • Carefully check your surroundings to get a sense of the kind of work that will be involved in opening your cottage/cabin. From fallen trees to cracked windows to rotten wood on the deck or docks, the long winter months may have caused some damages that could pose a threat to your safety if not repaired accordingly.
  • If children regularly visit your cottage/cabin, it’s important to take a look around the property and see what improvements are needed to make your cottage/cabin child-safe. For example, make sure all poisonous substances such as weed killers are stored safely away and that all locks are secure.

Test runs

  • Take the same risk prevention steps for your cottage/cabin that you would for your home such as checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors’ battery life and keeping a fire extinguisher on the premises.
  • If the carbon monoxide detector is older than five years, replace it completely – the same applies to smoke alarms older than 10 years.
  • Test heaters, light switches, appliances, wires and outlets for any damages first, and make sure the water heater’s filled to avoid burning the element.

Since cottages/cabins are often left unoccupied for long periods of time, they are more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Also, if your cottage/cabin is in a remote area, it is more likely to suffer from greater damages in case of a fire, for example, than a property closer to the city.

For these reasons, it is advisable to make sure that all buildings on the property are insured including docks, guest cabins, boathouses, and, in some cases, even boats. Not only does insurance give you peace of mind, it also allows you to fully enjoy your ‘home away from home’ with your loved ones season after season.