If you own a small Homestead, farm or even a large cattle ranch, safety and security are very important. People may trespass on your property by accident or on purpose. Either way, it’s important that you know when people are about and what they’re doing. In this article, we present eighteen important tips to help keep you safe and secure on your farm. Read on to learn more on farm security best practices.
What You'll Learn Today
- Farm Security Best Practices
- 1. Put Up Signs
- 2. Create Physical Barriers
- 3. Make Your Gates Secure
- 4. Install A Security System
- 5. Install Trail Cameras
- 6. Install Safety Alarms
- 7. Keep Your Property Well Lit
- 8. Get A Backup Generator
- 9. Install Security Tags On Your Equipment And Vehicles
- 10. Get A Gun
- 11. Keep A Good Dog
- 12. Be Alert!
- 13. Be Safe!
- 14. Be Knowledgeable
- 15. Practice A Buddy System
- 16. Be Ready For Fire
- 17. Hold Fire Drills
- 18. Invest In A 2-Way Radio, CB And/Or Walkie-Talkies
Farm Security Best Practices
1. Put Up Signs
If you want to prevent having trespassers on your property, you have to let them know where your property lines are. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in some well-made metal signs to post around the perimeters of your property. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or threatening. Plain metal signs reading “trespassers prohibited” or simply “no trespassing” will do.
2. Create Physical Barriers
In addition to signs, you may also want to put up physical barriers if you’re concerned about break-ins or theft of equipment, livestock and the like.
- Plant a thorny hedge. If you line your fences with blackberry bushes, trespassers and potential thieves will think twice about coming through your fence.
- Line up out-of-service heavy equipment. In areas where an eyesore won’t matter, lining your fences with old, immovable machinery can prevent having rustlers cut your fences and steal your livestock. If they can’t get a trailer close or lead or drive stock through, they can’t steal horses, cattle and other large animals.
How To Secure Your Rural Property
3. Make Your Gates Secure
Keep your gates locked, and note that for your personal security, it’s a good idea to make your gate automated so that you don’t have to get out of your vehicle to open and close it.
Adding an intercom system provides even more security as it allows you to identify anyone wishing to enter before you unlock the gate remotely.
4. Install A Security System
Motion sensors installed around the perimeter of your property can be extremely helpful in monitoring your property lines and in warning off trespassers. Motion sensors can activate your security camera system, security lights and/or an alarm system.
Naturally, signs warning that a security system is in place, along with physical evidence (e.g. security cameras in plain sight) can also be a deterrent against trespassing.
5. Install Trail Cameras
If you have a very large property, installing trail cameras can help you gain an understanding of what kind of predators (both four-legged and two-legged) may pose a threat to your livestock (check this article about coyotes). You may also want to consider use of a drone to keep an eye on the far-flung parts of your farm.
Drones For Use In Rural Security
6. Install Safety Alarms
In addition to security alarms, it’s also wise to install a system of safety alarms for smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and other potential hazards.
These types of safety alarms give you early warning if fire breaks out, and can help prevent illness, injury and even death of family members and farm workers in buildings where potentially hazardous materials may be stored.
7. Keep Your Property Well Lit
In addition to perimeter lights that are activated by motion detectors, you should also have good lighting around your barns and outbuildings. A well lit farm is far less likely to be preyed upon by livestock and equipment thieves.
8. Get A Backup Generator
Electrical outages are common in rural areas and can wreak havoc with farm production and also with your lighting, safety and security systems. Be sure to invest in a high quality, reliable backup generator to keep your farm and security system up and running, even after a big storm or other catastrophic event.
9. Install Security Tags On Your Equipment And Vehicles
Conceal security tags that will relay a GPS signal allowing you to locate missing and/or stolen equipment, vehicles, tractors and skid steers.
10. Get A Gun
You don’t have to be a gun enthusiast to understand the potential wisdom of having a firearm to protect your home. If you choose to keep a gun, take the time and put in the effort to receive proper training in safe gun use. Be sure to keep weapons and ammunition properly locked up.
11. Keep A Good Dog
You don’t have to have an attack dog or a guard dog. A simple watchdog will do. A well-cared-for canine family member/friend will bark and alert you to the presence of strangers, stray dogs, wolves, coyotes and the like.
Choose a larger, confident breed of dog and take the time to engage in good training so that your dog is well behaved and doesn’t become a problem to other farmers in the area.
Save a life by checking with your local rescue to find just the right dog to help you keep an eye on your property and keep you company.
12. Be Alert!
Keep your eyes open for unusual or suspicious activity. Make sure that employees know that they should inform you if they see strangers hanging around.
Keep in contact with your local police to let them know about any unusual activity you see. Write down license numbers of strange vehicles, and be ready to share your security camera footage with local authorities.
13. Be Safe!
When you are farming, you use a lot of heavy and dangerous equipment. Be sure that you really know how to use all of the equipment you have on your property.
Follow all safety measures when handling dangerous equipment such as power saws, tractors, wood chippers and the like. Always remember to wear proper safety gear, such as safety goggles, heavy gloves and hearing protection.
14. Be Knowledgeable
Make sure that you and all adults on your farm or homestead know how to perform CPR and basic first aid. Knowing these simple, life-saving skills can be invaluable in the event of accidents, illnesses and injuries. It can take a while for paramedics to arrive at rural properties. Your own knowledge could save a life!
15. Practice A Buddy System
When you are performing dangerous tasks, or if you will be in an isolated area of your farm, don’t do it alone. Plan to have someone to help you in case of an accident.
When you are working alone, let people know where you will be and what you will be doing. Give some idea of when they can expect you to return.
16. Be Ready For Fire
There are a surprising number of fire risks involved in farming, so you should be well prepared with a several different kinds of fire extinguishers. You’ll need:
- Water-Based Fire Extinguishers
- Foam-based Fire Extinguishers
- Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
- CO2 Fire Extinguisher
You can have either water or foam based extinguishers or both, but you must also have dry powder extinguishers. The water or foam based extinguishers are good for use when material such as straw, hay or wood have ignited.
The dry powder extinguishers are good for fires that are started by chemicals such as gases and/or fuel. CO2 extinguishers are used to put out electrical fires.
You’ll want to have the appropriate fire extinguishers in each outbuilding on your property. Remember to equip your vehicles with appropriate fire extinguishers as well.
17. Hold Fire Drills
Be ready in the event that fire should break out. Identify any areas that do present fire hazards, such as brush, hay barns and outdoor cooking areas. Think about what you would do and how you would do it if a fire starts and gets out of control.
Talk with your family members and any farmhands you may have and practice the steps you will take to make sure that everyone is able to get quickly to safety.
Draw up a map of your home, buildings and property and formulate an escape plan that everyone knows to follow.
18. Invest In A 2-Way Radio, CB And/Or Walkie-Talkies
Much of the time, you can simply use your cell phone to stay in touch with other people on your farm, homestead or ranch. Sometimes, though, you may not have an adequate signal on your property.
In this case, it can be helpful to have a set of walkie-talkies to use on your property. This is also a good solution for children who may not yet be responsible enough to have their own cell phone.
Having a landline phone installed and/or having a Two-Way or CB radio is also a good idea to be certain of having a way to call out for help in case of a serious emergency or a disaster.