Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Homestead Security

I had a phone call from a friend of mine yesterday. His wife had come back from work and found two guys breaking into one of their sheds. She's a brave one though, as she blocked the drive and called the police, they came in force with five cars and took the guys away, but chances are, because they got them before they stole anything they won't get charged.
I went to have a look around with him last night to see how we could upgrade his security. 
I love this picture from a trailer on my fathers farm. There's nothing in it but it still makes me smile!
His is the typical little homestead, with a jumble of sheds and prefab garages, none in great shape but all being used. I'm going to reinforce some of the doors with ply, add metal plates behind the hasps and staples and possibly get him some better padlocks (this guy does a lot for me so it's nice to pay him back when I can).
I'd like to find a site box for storing tools for him as well and maybe fit that, but the whole thing has got me thinking about my own security and what I should do to increase it. I've posted on this before on my other blog (the link is here).
We have a footpath running across the top of our land and this means that people can walk by and nose at what we've got around the place. My little workshop is very secure but I'd like to know what everyone else does for security and how you deal with this type of thing?
I know a dog is the obvious answer but that comes with it's own set of problems and risks (and the girls are to young at the moment) but does anyone go down the route of CCTV cameras, security lights & alarms? What do you find effective and what system do you run?

38 comments:

  1. We have security lights, dogs with VERY good ears for anyone on our land. Secure padlocks on all gates and sheds and locks on all our trailers. Soon we will have gates on the drive and on every field entrance. But sometimes I think whatever you do if someone wants to break in they will. All we can do is make things as difficult for them as possible.

    It's nice of you to help out your friend, and wasn't his wife a brave one!! You never know how you will react in that kind of situation, I always thought I would be a wuss when it came to a confrontation but when I caught a shop lifter I frogmarched him back to the changing rooms and made him strip off all the clothes he was trying to steal and then threw him out of the shop.

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    1. We can't gate the drive here due to the footpath but we have got a bollard into the field that stops anyone driving in there (it's on a padlock so it can come out).
      She was a brave woman but I wouldn't want my wife to do the same, I'd be too worried if things went sour.

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  2. Keeping things locked and watching out for prowlers is a good start. Alarm and or simple CCTV is another level without having to spend too much.

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    1. Yeah the CCTV isn't as expensive as I thought, you can get a wireless one for just over a £100. Worth thinking about I think.

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  3. what about one of those shipping containers and a very strong padlock?

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    1. ...or is that the same thing as a site box?

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    2. no a site box is much smaller and goes in a shed or container. I've got a container here, with added locks, for my gear, makes me feel a bit safer.

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  4. "I love this picture from a trailer on my fathers farm."....
    He's got a padlock on it!! It's fine and secure.....

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    1. If there's no baler twine it's no good!

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    2. And the same goes for 2CVs!!

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  5. I have a very simple driveway wireless alarm that alerts me when some-one is approching a very simple affair and only cost £10. I also have CCTV I have one set that I can view from the house and the other set I can view from the cabin, the CCTV's came out of the shop when I closed it, we dont have any public paths around us so they are either coming to visit or up to no good, the dog has a very good bark as well although she is not trained as a security dog. I have got a shed alarm on the garden tool shed as well that goes off if the door is opened :-)

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    1. I like the idea of the drive way alarm, might be good if I was in the garden and linked to my phone maybe. like I said above I'd consider a CCTV at some point as it would help catch anyone that tried anything.

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  6. I once went to a rock festival and somebody put a lock on their tent. Guess what? The tent was ransacked and my friends possessions disappeared. For the rest of the weekend I hid anything valuable under rubbish.

    A good dog keeps thieves away and not being clock work when you go out. The number of people who go to work and return home at the same time.

    Once went out to one of my outbuildings because the terrier was barking ferociously. I ventured into the darkened wood shed and found a big ginger tom cat spitting at the terrier!

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    1. That can be the trouble if things look too secure. I used to do the same at festivals, hid in really good places. My place looks like a builders dump when you pull up so maybe that would pu them off!

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  7. Security lights are all fine and dandy when you are home but when you are out they really just help thieves get a good look around! We are pretty far out in middle of nowhere. Our collies, all 8 of them, provide good security. If you persist in coming over the gate when we're out there may well be little left for us to shovel up when we get back. The gates are locked and the signs clear!

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    1. Yeah, others have said the same about the lights to me in person, but mine are on switches so can be turned off if I'm not there. 8 dogs would put most off I'd guess! collies are always a dog to be weary of as well, I've come across some nasty ones when I used to go to a lot of farms with my dad.

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  8. I actually get MORE anxious if there is too much security. When we had CCTV for a little while I spent nearly as much time watching the screens as looking at TV! My friend's burglar alarm is often set off by spiders and she is very popular with neighbours because of it! Another friend locked her outside freezer and thieves opened like a can opener, ruining the freezer and stealing the contents. We have a light that comes on when someone reaches the bottom of our drive/house, but that is really to help us see where we are going. ...No doubt a thief would find it useful too. Keeping expensive equipment under lock and key seems a reasonable thing to do, but securing all that is on a smallholding would be quite difficult without outside dogs I would think.
    PS Kev I emailed you re seeds.

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    1. I suppose that's the risk, like having a blog and keep checking it (not that I do that!). Our neighbours gets set off by mice all the time. Been over there in the dark to see what's going on and it's not fun and takes ages to get back to sleep!

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  9. Me again! Postie has just bought the seeds! Many thanks. Let me know if you want any of my swaps.
    Gill

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    1. Cheers, Gill, I've sent you an email.

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  10. Where I live it is quite safe but you never know. But with six dogs, nobody has any chance breaking in here. And if they are brave enough the dogs will attack. It is their home and they are protecting it.
    Rosezeeta.

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    1. I think six dogs should sort it!

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  11. When we lived in a caravan and tent security was a continuing worry, and it has been with relief that we now have big gates and sturdy doors behind which lurk the rottweiller girls, although they have never been known to utter even the smallest growl at an unknown visitor yet! Still, they are big and black so theoretically should put people off from coming here when we are out!

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    1. It just makes you feel that much safer doesn't it. Rottweillers would be deterant for anyone I think! there used to be some at a scrap yard I used to go to and I used to think that anyone brave enough to brake in deserved what they got as I think they'd be ripped to pieces!

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  12. What the hell? The cops caught them red handed, burglarizing, and they might not be charged?

    They would not last long here. My state has a castle law. Under it's provisions, a citizen is entitled to use deadly force to protect his life and property. The idea of some gene pool reject coming on my land and trying to steal from me really locks my jaw.

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    1. Well the lock was on the floor bu they said they found it like that. The law works quite differntly over here unfortunatly.
      turns out that they had some other tools in the back of their car that had been reported stolen so hopefully they'll go down for it.

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  13. Shotgun shell in a mouse trap?. Unless you are there to witness it, the problem with any CCTV or critter cameras is that you will have evidence of who done it only after the fact. I suppose it is better than nothing, but the chances of getting your tools back is slim as by the time they catch them a week later they have already sold your tools for drugs. A really loud alarm system might scare them off before they cart away your tools. But it also comes with its own set of problems.

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    1. CCTV would have shown them trying to break in and that would be good for a court case. if they had a fool proof alarm I'd consider it but the last thing I want is one going off because a squirrel farted near a sensor and have to drive back from where ever I am to turn it off.

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  14. I agree with Gill at FID. I am on my own five days a week and I think a lot of security gubbins would just make me anxious.
    Just out of interest; why do you think that your girls are too young for a dog?

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    1. My youngest is 16 months and doesn't like the word no. My friend has a cat and she won't leave it alone, I just worry that if it was a dog she's keep pushing it until it snapped and I wouldn't be able to live with myself. Maybe soon though

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  15. Whatever you do, make sure you do not infringe their human rights.

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    1. Tell me about it. Probably get sued because they got a splitter when they kicked the door in!

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  16. If thieves want it and they have the time they will get it. The real trick is making sure they know they don't have the time or at least think they don't. Any lock, putting stuff up etc. is nothing more than increasing the amount of time needed to get whatever they are after. Dogs that bark are great deterrents and having an extra vehicle that get's moved around so thieves aren't sure someone isn't home is another good thing to have. I make it a point to switch our vehicles around even when we don't actually use one for months just so anyone casing the place will think someone is home. Of course there is almost always someone here and the neighbors have a good view of people coming and going so we have never had a problem. Why I haven't even had the keys out of my car or truck in years.

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    1. I agree, slowing them down is key, also make it so they have to make lots of noise to break in will decrease the chances. My containers would be noisey to break into. hiding stuff is an option as well, hidden units etc. It's a good tip with the vehicle at the moment I'm home most of the time so it's not an issue and our neighbours are pretty good and one lot are normally about and are close friends so know if we go away.

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  17. Seeds arrived today, thanks so much Kev for taking the time.
    Briony
    x

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    1. No worries, hope they grow well for you!

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  18. there is always the redneck method
    http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/939027d3eac957886cc9c1a5e0b7fede.jpg

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    1. I like this idea. I used to have a window cleaning sign I put on the back of the van (before it was sign written) (I might have told you before) as I figure no one would want a bucket and sponge and would leave my van alone.

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