By Lukas Nicholson
While living out and away from the hustle and bustle has its definite advantages, it also has some drawbacks that you should consider if you want to maintain the peace and quiet that drew you away from town in the first place. Although most of the crime reports seem to originate from more populated areas, that doesn’t mean that you should assume it won’t happen to you simply because you live out of the way.
Keep in mind that should your rural property be broken into or your home invaded, it will likely take law enforcement some time before they can get to you. In addition, it is likely you will have law enforcement patrolling nearby. Therefore it is up to you to secure your property and make it as uninviting a target as possible.
Keep things cleaned up
This may sound like odd advice, but it is important to keep your homestead cleaned up. An unkempt place will make potential thieves think you don’t care about your property, don’t spend much time there, or that it is so disorganized anything they steal won’t be missed. Don’t just toss that box your new 60 inch TV came in out where it could advertise the nice things you have inside.
If you have equipment lying around then you should put it away and not leave it out in plain sight. Why allow someone the opportunity to look over your things from a distance. In addition, don’t leave tools or equipment around that could be used to break through a window or door. Why make their job easier? It’s a good idea to keep brush and other vegetation cleared away so it can’t be used for concealment.
If you have broken windows or doors get them fixed. A thief is looking for an easy score. If they see well-kept buildings that don’t offer easy access they are likely to go visit a neighbor down the road.
Fences and gates
Keep up your fences and have them well signed. Broken fence lines along your property are an invitation for people to wander in. Consider putting fences around your outbuildings as well. If a thief is denied easy access to your property with a vehicle, they will be less inclined to take anything they have to carry very far.
Keep your gates closed and locked. This way nobody you find wandering the property can claim it was an accident. Place a sign on gates that you have video surveillance, even though you may not. Remember, the more doubts you can put into a thief’s mind the more likely they will move on.
Doors and windows
Consider replacing the doors on your home and outbuildings with solid core exterior doors and dead bolt locks. Always keep your windows locked or install secondary locking devices which keep them from being opened past a certain point. This includes windows on the second floor. Use landscaping as a deterrent as well. Think about planting the areas in front of windows with sharp edged plants such as roses or hawthorn.
Make it a point to get to know your neighbors, even though they may be a mile away or more, and keep on friendly terms with them. Stay in touch with them on a regular basis. That way if either one of you gets wind of suspicious activity you can warn each other. Its beneficial to have an extra set of eyes and ears even if they don’t live right next door.
Keep your property lit up. Make sure the entrances to your outbuildings are lighted which will further deter thieves and allow you to see any suspicious activity from the house.
If feasible, consider installing a security system in your house and outbuildings. Someone attempting to break into your house will reconsider when they hear an alarm going off, even if they think no one is around. An outbuilding outfitted with an alarm system will let you know if someone attempts to break into it while you are in the house. With so many systems to choose from, it may help to find some useful home security system reviews. M.D. Adds : I have and recommend the SimplySafe system.
Have an escape plan. You should have a plan in case you notice some suspicious activity or have someone actively trying to get into the house with you inside. Keep in mind that it will take law enforcement some time to get to you, so you will need to have a safe place to go unless you plan to confront the intruder. Install a reinforced door and lock in one of your rooms and use it.
A dog will typically alert you to anything unusual before you take note of it. Again, just the presence of a dog on the premises will be a big deterrent, as a thief knows that even if it isn’t vicious a dog will draw unwanted attention. When it comes to personal protection, it’s not a question of if you own a gun; it’s a matter of if you’re prepared to use it. If you have any doubts an alternative may be as simple as a can of pepper spray. An even better solution is bear spray, which comes in a larger container. With bear spray aiming is not necessary. It can stop a charging grizzly, so imagine what it will do to an unwelcomed intruder.
Lukas Nicholson works in the home security field and often writes on the subject of home security.
If you have tips and advice on how to secure a remote homestead please share those with us in the comments below. Thank you.