Keep your farm safe and secure from theft and burglary with these tips
Good farm security is crucial for protecting your property, livestock, and equipment from theft, vandalism, and other risks.
A recent survey of crime affecting Irish farms found more than half of Irish farmers were victims of theft. The report found that only one third of farmers had alarm systems on their houses and 5% have alarms on outbuildings while a minority had CCTV on outbuildings. Due to the busy nature of farming life and constant need to be “on the farm”, your farmhouse can be left unattended for periods and become quite vulnerable to burglary.
At PhoneWatch, as a leading alarm system provider, we have prepared some essential farm security tips to help you enhance the safety and protection of your farm:
- Perimeter Fencing: Install sturdy fencing around the entire perimeter of your farm. Choose a durable material, such as chain-link or woven wire, and ensure it is tall enough to deter intruders. Regularly inspect and maintain the fencing to repair any damages or weaknesses.
- Secure Entrances: Use locked gates or access points to control who enters your farm. Pay particular attention to your yard and ensure it is gated. Many farms have open sheds which can easily attract the attention of burglars. Never keep valuable equipment in accessible areas as it could make your farm a target.
- Lighting: Install ample lighting throughout your farm, especially in key areas such as barns, storage facilities, and entry points. Ideally choose sensored lights which are triggered by motion. Well-lit areas act as a deterrent to potential intruders and allow you to easily monitor your property during night-time.
- Security Cameras: In addition to an alarm system, install surveillance cameras in strategic locations around your farm to monitor activities and deter potential criminals. Opt for high-resolution cameras with night vision capabilities. Ensure the cameras cover critical areas such as entrances/yards, sheds, and livestock areas. Consider using a cloud-based storage system to securely store the footage.
- Securing your Livestock: When it comes to your livestock, use branding, tagging, or microchipping to mark your livestock. This makes it easier to identify and recover stolen animals. Keep detailed records of your livestock, including photographs, descriptions, and any unique markings. Livestock can be at risk from thieves, especially if they graze far from your main yard and buildings. Try and keep a regular check on fields with livestock so you can quickly identify if any animals are missing or any unusual occurrences.
- Equipment and Machinery: Secure valuable equipment and machinery in locked buildings or use heavy-duty locks and chains to secure them outdoors. Consider implementing GPS tracking devices on high-value items to help recover them if stolen.
- Neighbours and Community: Build good relationships with your neighbours and participate in community watch programs. Inform your neighbours about any suspicious activities and keep each other informed about security concerns.
- Guard dog: It may be a good idea to invest in a guard dog to protect your home or farm outbuildings. A dog can deter potential criminals as it will bark if a stranger enters your premises while you may be away on the farm.
- Alarms and Sensors: Install a security alarm system that includes motion detectors and sensors. These devices can alert you or a monitoring service when there is unauthorized activity on your farm.
At PhoneWatch our home alarm system is a popular option for many farm owners as it can protect their home while they are out on the farm. Our standard alarm pack includes motion detectors and motion detector cameras as well as a smoke alarm. The alarm is monitored by our expertly trained staff. If you are busy on your farm or at the mart and there is a potential burglary at your home, our monitoring team will be alerted if the alarm is triggered and contact you or the relevant authorities immediately.
Marguerite Cotter, Marketing Director at PhoneWatch, said “A large proportion of our customers are farmers who want to protect their homes while they are out on their farm. Burglars are clever and know that the farmhouse can be empty for long periods of time. It’s important that when you are out of the house on the farm that you have the peace of mind that your own home is safe and secure thanks to our 24/7 monitoring. In the run up to the National Ploughing Championships we want to take this opportunity to remind all farmers and indeed all homeowners to keep their home security at the forefront of their minds as we come into winter.
Remember, farm security is an ongoing process requiring regular attention. Routinely review and update your security measures to adapt to changing risks. Consult with local Gardai or security professionals for personalized advice based on your specific farm's needs.