Sunday, December 20, 2015

That's Like Closing the Barn Door After the Horses Get Away

How many times have we heard that?  Well, it happens all the time.  Just because you live in the country or away from city folks it doesn’t mean you can’t become a target of vandalism or theft or worse.  Here are some very common sense things you can do immediately to keep the horses safe and from loosing your britches, so to speak.

Check all gates and fence for damage.  If properly maintained they will keep animals in but the will not keep bad guys out.  You may have heard of the “broken window theory”.  Basically, it says in areas where there are rundown buildings, with broken windows crime is sure to follow.  Same goes for fences.  Fences that are not maintained suggest that security is not a very high priority and other areas of the farm, ranch and homestead are vulnerable, too.

Ensure ditches are maintained and clear of debris.  You need to do this for several reasons; 1) to make sure the ditches drain properly, 2) so that they don’t provide hiding places for the bad guys, or 3) allow the bad guys to drive through your fence.  A properly maintained ditch provides some protection.

Keep chemicals/fertilizer under strict control, especially, if being used in the field.  Do not leave outdoors overnight.  Bring the wagon back to the barn and secure it.  You’re going back that way anyway, so there’s really no extra effort.

Report unsolicited requests to buy fertilizers or chemicals from you to the authorities.

Control access to all buildings.  There are lots of electronic gadgets out there these days to assist in that area.  But they all basically fall into one of three categories, each being more secure and more expensive than the previous.  Something you have – like an access card, something you know – like a pin number, and something you are – like a retinal scan or fingerprint.  A system that has a combination of two of the three is preferable.  Make sure all buildings are protected.  Beside the animals, there are lots of items to steal.  Copper wiring, metal tubing, and lead seem to be high the thieves priority list these days.

Install visible deterrents, such as, motion activated lights and cameras.  Some systems allow for you to talk from the camera and warn the bad guy that they’re being watched.  Might be useful to "shoo" those high schoolers away who are "cow tipping" or "snipe hunting".

More common sense tips available or under the Technology Improvement Tab.

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