One of the many attractive things for second home owners about the northern and western area of Sullivan County is that it is safe. Crime in general is low and burglaries are few and far between. In fact in recent years, it was not uncommon to call for a showing and be told that the back door is unlocked, or there is a key under the mat.
That is why over the past year or so, as I have heard more stories about break-ins, and burglaries it is a bit disconcerting. Earlier this summer we had these three dim-wits on a burglary spree. In true “Wet Bandit” style though, they left a puddle of oil in each driveway of the homes they burglarized. (Car maintenance is far less important than meth for some folks). So they were apprehended fairly quickly, and their crimes were solved.
Second homes are especially vulnerable, not only because they are vacant more often, but because many are secluded, making it easier for break-ins to go undetected.
Now for most–if not all–local break-ins, I think that we are dealing with the puddle-in-the-driveway level of intelligence. Thankfully Bill Mason, or the Hillside Gang is not on the loose along the river corridor, so a few preventative measures should thwart most attempts, and discourage the rest from even trying.
The simplest and most obvious solution is to install a burglar alarm. P and N Alarm is the largest local company. You can get a number of different packages from them including the top of the line with all the bells and whistles, (which summons a cop to your front door when the alarm is tripped). I have had really mixed reviews from buyers who have chosen full service alarms systems. Some love them, but others tell me they get tripped by accident, or have false alarms for no apparent reason. Also the cost of a full service alarm system can deter some.
Then there is the do it yourself alarm/monitoring system. And with technology the way it is today, this is the way more and more people are going iSmart is a do it yourself alarm and monitoring system that can be controlled by your phone, Alarm.com is along those same lines with a bunch more cool features. If you have cell service at your Sullivan County second home, then you have a bunch of options. If not, there are still some other options, including an alarm system that will call you from your house phone should a door or window open. This DIY site as some pretty inventive and fairly inexpensive home security products.
However one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your second home is get to know your neighbors. Stop by with a dozen assorted from Ess-a or Terrace, or bring some other goodie that is tough to get here in Sullivan County. Even if you neighbor can’t see your house, they would be able to watch the driveway, and could alert you or the authorities of anything odd. Most people would be happy to do this.
And if you do nothing else, buy a sticker that says you have an alarm. They cost less than ten dollars and will deter 99 percent of the knuckleheads who may be tempted to break into your country home.