For those living on large tracts of land such as farms and ranches, the threat of intruders carries more danger than for those in urban environments. There are more places for intruders to conceal themselves, there are risks from chemical and fuel tanks, and emergency responders take longer to arrive. That's why it's important for property owners to have a comprehensive home security plan, especially with the long, dark winter nights on the horizon. These common forms of home protection offer the best way to secure your property.
Physical barriers are tried and true standards in home protection, but for some, the costs associated with fencing off the entire property are prohibitive. If you are unable to fence your complete perimeter, consider strategic fencing. Fence off valuable assets such as livestock and crops. Fence any portion of the property facing public roads and prominently post "no trespassing" signs at regular intervals. Install a sturdy, locking gate at the entrance to your property. The most effective fencing is at least 6 feet tall and made of sturdy material.
Electrical fencing is also an excellent deterrent, and most electric fence packages include an alarm that signals when a cable is cut or damaged. Electrical fences can be combined with other physical barrier systems to increase security.
It's no secret that many potential intruders will turn away at the sight of a barking dog. You don't need to invest in expensive, highly trained guard dogs to get the security benefits of a canine. Many dog breeds make good watchdogs that will alert you to strangers entering your property. Keep in mind that there is a difference between watchdogs and guard dogs. Watchdogs are noisemakers that sound the alarm, while guard dogs are expected to engage an intruder and protect livestock and family members; they often work together. Keep in mind what role your dog will play in your security when selecting a breed.
Firearms offer homeowners affordable protection for their livestock, family and property. Depending on your familiarity with weapons, your arsenal can be an easy-to-use shotgun or semi-automatic rifle platform like the AR-15, or a combination of handguns and long guns. Keep in mind that shotguns, while often considered good for home protection, have several drawbacks over other weapons. For example, buckshot may not incapacitate an intruder the way a rifle slug or bullet would, and shotguns require both hands to fire. This makes it difficult to open doors or turn on lights while searching for an intruder.
Electronic access control, alarms and motion sensors are important components in a comprehensive home security system. Use electronic access controls instead of traditional keyed locks for buildings where valuable assets or sensitive chemicals are stored. Use glare lighting directed away from assets such as fuel tanks, wells and farm buildings to blind intruders attempting to access your valuables. Incorporate alarms that alert you when gates or doors are opened. Motion sensors that turn on floodlights near sensitive areas are another inexpensive security enhancement.
You can choose to monitor your alarms and sensors on the property yourself, or farm out monitoring to a security company that will automatically alert emergency services as needed.
Video surveillance is more costly than some other home security measures. However, where credible threats exist, or when you have sensitive chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, that are often the target of thieves, it may provide an extra layer of protection. You'll need a combination of cameras, monitors, and video recorders. Ideally, the video surveillance system will be integrated with a motion sensor that activates the camera and directs it toward the area where motion is detected. You can also combine an alarm system with your video component.
No matter what your home security needs are, you'll find plenty of options to fit any budget. Combining elements of each of the above protection options will help you develop a comprehensive security plan that keeps your property and family safe.