Securing your farm or rural property
According to statistics from the NFU, rural theft is on the decrease – costing the UK an estimated £37.8m in the UK during 2014, compared to £44.5m in 2013
But despite this welcome news, it’s still sensible to take adequate precautions to protect your possessions, livestock and machinery, particularly as the days get shorter and evenings darker.
Firstly, your gates and fences should be properly secured
Because the perimeter is the first thing you see when approaching a property, a potential thief will likely be deterred if they believe that the occupants have installed adequate security measures. If possible, establish a single entrance and exit to your property, and place gates at either end of your entrance to make it less inviting. Rural thieves are likely to want to make a quick getaway after committing their theft, and the inconvenience of navigating a series of gates will make you a less likely target. Good padlocks should also be applied to gates to prevent them being cut off.
Second, ensure that you have adequate lighting surrounding your property
Any outbuildings or courtyards should be properly illuminated, and motion sensor lighting is an easy way of deterring potential thieves. Other infra-red devices are also available which activate an alarm when it registers someone approaching your property.
Keeping equipment out of sight is key to deterring potential thieves
Make sure that all garage, shed or outbuilding doors are kept locked shut and windows covered. If a potential thief can’t see any equipment to steal then it makes it much less likely that they will attempt a break-in. Keep smaller items like power tools in a container fixed to the ground or wall, and make sure your tools are marked so that you can identify them if they’re ever stolen.
If you keep fuel tanks, these should also be adequately secured
Oil and fuel are the third most popular items to be stolen in rural areas, according to the NFU’s figures. Firstly, ensure the tank is locked with a strong closed-shackle padlock. If an electrically controlled pump is fitted to a tank, make sure the control switch is located in a locked building or in the house and that the electricity is turned off when the tank is not in use. Also, keep track of fuel purchases, and dip your tanks daily and monitor your fuel usage so that you know if there is an unexplained loss of fuel.
A final tip is to install visible deterrents such as CCTV cameras and signage at appropriate points around your property
Identify the weaker areas of your perimeter and consider upgrading your fencing or walls – or even plant thorned bushes or hedges as an easy deterrent.
Related Articles: How does rural life affect mental health?