A Log Home Builders Association member recently found evidence of drug use outside her house after a break in. She sent us an email asking for some advice on security, so we came up with 6 solid tips on how to protect rural property.
These six easy steps start at the perimeter just like a good security plan should — because the further away you can stop a ‘problem’ the more secure you will feel.
Tip # 1
Install a solid gate. In a rural setting most bad guys simply drive up to the driveway and then walk down into your home and steal stuff. So buy a metal tube style farm gate for around $90 (brand new, or around $40 used). Gates worked best when closed and locked, but it’s too easy to leave one open or unlocked. Adding a automatic gate opener means you’re more likely to leave your gate closed unless you’re actively using it. We’ve heard great things about the Mighty Mule automatic gate opener.
Erect a fence. It provides a physical barrier and a great deterrent. Ideally you should fence your entire property, but with a larger rural lot that can be a hard task (physically and financially). So often you have to settle with installing fence adjacent to the driveway gate, running 50-100′ in either direction. To save money you can rely on a ‘natural’ fence like brambles. Having a thick border of blackberry or blackthorn bushes around your property really makes someone think twice before ‘hopping your fence.’ Tip: building your fence atop a berm can make it even more effective!
Post your property with a set of the best Keep Out Signs in America (currently on sale). Some states require posted signs to fully exert your private property rights. Bad guys don’t always follow the law, but they do recognize when your neighbor may be an ‘easier’ target. One member reported that every home on his street was broken into by drug addicts looking for quick cash — except for HIS property. These Constitutional Keep Out Signs caused them to pass him by. Added bonus: these signs can be pretty effective against government officials too.
Installing security lights can cost as little as $20 ea. Mount them to your home, and place one near the end of your driveway. If a bad guy is illuminated 100′ or more away from your home he’s more likely to turn around right then and there. This is especially true since putting a motion sensing security light at the end of the driveway is unusual, and bad guys tend to get scared off by unusual things.
Install at least 3 security cameras. One near the end of your driveway, next to a security light (a cam with night vision). That camera will do the following: the bad guy walks up toward the gate and he is recorded even thought it’s pitch black. At some point he sets off the security lights and now he’s being recorded in bright light and in full color. Hopefully he will look up at the light and notice the camera, having an ‘ah-ha’ moment of realizing he’s truly screwed and then he’ll run away. Mount the second cam to your house with good coverage of your mowed front lawn. Mount the third cam to the back of your house covering your back yard.
Own a dog. A dog does several things that really help keep a property secure. First they bark at unusual noises and movement. Second they might bite things that act aggressive toward those they love. Lastly they never take time off. Side benefit: life’s better when a dog owns you, and loves you unconditionally 🙂
Two Bonus tips:
- Install a monitored house alarm for those times you aren’t home. There are several affordable options that will at the very least ring your cell phone when they go off.
- Install a motion sensor near your gate that emits a loud beep when activated. That is just a redundant way to let the bad guys know they aren’t sneaking anywhere. These can actually be placed around the perimeter of your property, anywhere you have a somewhat decent line of sight.
Hopefully these tips help prevent you from becoming a victim of property crime. Implementing even one tip can increase your rural security.
The care and support of friends can be a powerful shield.
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