Figure 1: The BEARricade™ protects wilderness homes from bear break-ins.

Preventing Bear Break-Ins with NanaWall Systems

Security threats change based on a home's surrounding environment. In the Southeast, residences need protection against extreme weather—there’s SL73 for that. In urban areas homes need to be safe from burglary—all NanaWall systems are burglar-resistant. But structures near wilderness areas face a unique challenge: bear security.

More of our customers than you’d think have to deal with the reality of bear break-ins. Lake Tahoe, Wyoming, Colorado, New England, and Canada are a few affected areas. As part of a home’s building exterior, NanaWall systems are responsible for protecting residences from whatever comes its way, whether that be burglars, storms, or in this case—bears.

 

 

 

The Bear Truth about Bear Security

Over the years, bears have discovered that humans’ homes, cars, and trash cans are reliable food sources. They have large appetites as the months before hibernation, bears consume 25,000 calories per day. When they feel their normal bear food—berries, nuts, fish, or small mammals—is running dry, the next place to go is your backyard.

Bear break-ins are surging around the United States. Wilderness areas in the West like Lake Tahoe and Aspen and even northeast suburbs are experiencing increased bear break-ins. Why would bear break-ins increase?

Bear expert David Mattson thinks the problem is “a shortage of human tolerance to coexist.” The conflict is likely a combination of residential expansion closer to bear habitats and the resurgence of black bear populations. Due to successful conservation efforts, there are now over 300,000 black bears in the United States.

Black bears are the common culprit with break-ins. They’re a small and docile breed; much less dangerous than their North American brethren: the Grizzly Bear. Although cute, black bears can cause a lot of damage to a house or car if they’re hungry and sense food.

A male black bear can grow to be around 650 pounds—it’s not surprising one can smash through a car or home window. What might come as a surprise is how cunning black bears can be. They’ve learned to slide open windows or French doors, and even use door handles.

 

How to Prevent Bear Break-Ins

There are different stages of preventing bear break-ins. Firstly, there are precautionary bear security strategies to prevent attracting bears to your property, as specified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

 

  • Don’t leave food scraps or scented products (ex: suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap, candles, etc.) in the yard
  • Keep grills clean and store in a garage
  • Don’t hang bird feeders or feed other wildlife
  • Use a bear-proof garbage container and put trash out the morning of collection day
  • Consider composting bins instead of open composting
  • Bring pets inside and secure livestock in quarters at night
  • Block access to potential hibernation sites like crawl spaces under decks and buildings
  • Don’t spray bear spray around the property because it can serve as an attractant
  • Harvest fruit trees as soon as the fruit is ripe

 

If bears do make it onto your property, bear-proof your house with these bear security strategies:

 

  • Keep doors and windows closed and locked when unoccupied
  • Install motion-detector alarms and/or electric fencing
  • Use a BEARricade™ NanaWall system

 

The BEARricade system is an opening glass wall designed for bear security. For homeowners that want an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, the BEARricade is a forced entry rated solution designed to protect against bear break-ins. The extra security comes from reinforced structural posts, impact-rated laminated glass, secure multi-point tamper-resistant locks, and bear-resistant handles.

Figure 2: The BEARricade has security measures that uniquely protect against bears.

 

If you find yourself in the midst of a bear break-in, call 911 immediately and go to a safe place. If you find yourself face-to-face with a black bear, as according to the Humane Society, act large to try and frighten it away with yelling and spreading your arms.

Final Thoughts

Protecting belongings is enough motivation to take steps to prevent bear break-ins. However, recognize it’s also harmful to the health of the bear population. Human-bear interactions can result in the “putting down” of the bear if deemed appropriate; a result nobody wants to see. Even further, studies are emerging showing that eating human food is causing the black bear population to have shorter lifespans.

To protect your belongings and the local bear population, use the above preventative steps to avoid conflict and live harmoniously.

Learn more about NanaWall Systems BEARricade system!

 

 

 

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