How To Prevent Farm Attacks With Better Farm Security is something that should be on everyone’s mind, farmer or not. No farmer, no Food, as simple as that. We cannot afford to have our farmers driven from the land, so if you are not a farmer, take up the farmer’s cause through activism, being vocal on the subject and letting your voice be heard.
In this article, I will give you an insight as to how to approach your farm’s security in a practical manner that will help you to become, if you are not already, as security conscious farm dweller. I say dweller because it is not just the farmer that is at risk but his family and friends that visit and customers,
Even the international communities are starting to become very vocal in this regard so, before I get into the “How To Prevent Farm Attacks With Better Farm Security” Take a look at this video from an American journalist.
Develop A Security Mindset
This is probably your most important and effective defense system. You and your entire household should become absolutely security conscious to stand any chance in an emergency. This is not something that happens immediately. It takes a concerted effort or a tragedy. They say a habit takes 21 days to cultivate so, prevent a tragedy by making a serious effort to become truly security conscious.
It starts by talking about security with your family regularly, daily in fact, reminding them to:
- keep the security doors closed and locked,
- keep their cell phones at hand,
- be aware of where the dogs are,
- look out for strangers,
- not displaying firearms openly,
- not wearing jewelry that will attract attention,
- not keep cash at home.
Little things that will build up into a habit in 21 days. It is of utmost importance that you get this right if you want to implement or install any other security measures. I mean, what does it help to install alarms if nobody arms them, or to install cameras when nobody pays attention to them?
Develop that security mindset. It could be your saving grace.
Your Responsibility – Your Home, Family, And Employees
Your home contains what most intruders want, although, attacks on South African Farmers have become more about torture and murder than robbery. This makes it even more important to secure your home, family and loved ones.
Once you have clearly defined what you consider to be your responsibility, you are now able to evaluate where the vulnerable points are. Knowing the vulnerabilities now enables you to address them. When you address them, you need to do it systematically.
There is no perfect way of doing this and you will probably need to prioritise things and deal with them as and when the finances permit. The most important thing though is to start!
Start In The Home
1. Home Security Assessment This is a structured, practical evaluation of your current security situation at home. This is important and should be done without emotion and preconceived ideas. Ideally, it should be done by a security professional but….a word of caution.
Although there are a lot of professional and honest “experts” out there, there are those that will only be in it for the money and will find fault where there is none and will try to talk you into buying the most expensive products.
Practically, get one of your knowledgeable neighbors ( or a couple of them) to do the assessment of your homestead. They will keep emotion out of it and will probably give you a clearer picture of your current security situation. Download our DIY Home Security Assessment form here.
Once you have this assessment, don’t leave it lying around for your domestic employee or others to see. Keep it secure and away from prying eyes, especially when you are not busy with it.
2. Safe Zone It is important to identify a “safe zone” in your home. In some instances, it will be possible to have a central room with:-
- a suitable door
- rations – water and food,
- first aid kit,
- communications etc.
This would be the room that everyone would head for in an extreme emergency. A room that can be locked and defended.
Unfortunately, this is not practical for everyone and the safest place in the House should be identified and this is where the necessary stores and equipment should be kept. This could be one of the bedrooms or a bathroom etc that can be easily reached and practically defended.
Don’t forget the water, first aid kit, and communication device. These should be in that location permanently i.e. don’t bank on using your cell phone or radio. Have a dedicated radio or cell phone in that location.
3. Weapons What weapons do you have available for defense? Do you have firearms, where are they located, are they accessible and is everyone trained in their use? If you don’t have weapons for everyone that is capable, there are other means of defense and you should investigate them. Things like crossbows, pepper gas and the like. Be creative and imaginative. Speak to your friends and neighbors. Get their input.
4. Responsibilities By responsibilities I am referring to the responsibilities of the household members, thing like:
- Who locks which doors?
- who carries the children to the safe area?
- who collects the weapons and which weapons?
These responsibilities must be arranged and rehearsed. Everyone, including children, should know exactly what to do and where to go. This helps avoid panic and irrational behavior.
Another point to consider is if Dad and/or Mom are in town or are not available at the time of the emergency, who are responsible for Mom or Dad’s tasks? Don’t forget these contingencies. Things happen and someone might not be there to carry out their responsibilities.
5. Practice This is the glue that holds your plan together. Don’t underestimate the necessity of practicing the plans that you have developed. And once is not enough. In the beginning, It should be done at least weekly, to get everyone to understand what needs to be done. There can be no misunderstanding if an emergency arises.
It is imperative that everyone knows what their tasks are and what everyone else’s tasks are. If Dad and/or Mom are in town or not available at the time of the emergency, who is responsible for their tasks. These contingencies should also be rehearsed.
So you have addressed the house and the safe room, together with everyone’s responsibilities and you are pretty confident about the situation. Big mistake! Don’t be confident about anything. Be aware, rehearsed and cautious. There is still a lot to do.
1. Fence This is your first line of defense, although I would rather not consider it a defense mechanism. It is more practically just a deterrent and can be your first warning alarm. I have seen many premises with serious electric or other types of fences where the occupants start becoming complacent because ” We have the fence that protects us”.
As important as it is to have a good perimeter fence, it is not a guaranteed defense. It is just a deterrent, it can be breached, so don’t forget that. It is just your first early warning system and nothing else. Don’t expect much from this item, even if you have fancy technology attached to it ( these criminals even have radio jammers to negate your cell or radio).
2. Visibility This section applies to two areas, inside your fence and the other side if your fence.
- Inside the fence. Yes, shrubs and bushes are beautiful and this is where Mommy needs to be convinced because she is usually the one that is protective of the beautiful garden. As nice as they may look, they need to look nice without causing blind spots or creating hiding places for intruders.
All bushes trees or any other types of shrubbery must either be below the knees in height or bare from the ground to waist height. This helps mitigate the cover that they give. Make sure that you can see your fence. This makes it more difficult for the intruder to breach the fence with impunity.
- Outside The Fence If the grass grows up to your fence and someone can lay in the grass and cut the fence or dig under it, what good is the fence. Make sure that there is a clean area at least 5 meters wide around your fence. Definitely, no trees next to the fence so that the intruder can just climb the tree and jump over. All trees must be 10 meters from the fence.
The more open area you can give yourself, the earlier you can identify a suspected intruder and the more of a deterrent it is to an intruder. They want to catch you unawares so that you cannot raise the alarm.
3. Access This is the danger point in most security systems. This is one of the intruders favorite strike points. This is usually because there is cover for him to hide in, in close proximity to the gate. This is also where, if the gate is not motorised, the driver will exit the vehicle to open the gate.
To mitigate the likelihood of an attack at the gate, make sure that:
- the grass is cut short, regularly,
- that the drainage ditch is shallow,
- that the grass is very short or non-existent in the ditch,
- That there are no trees, bushes or shrubs near the gate (100 meters)
- That you do not build a huge fancy gate entrance that people can hide behind and wait for you to get out of your vehicle to open the gate. If you need a fancy entrance, make sure that it has a motorised gate
Cellphones are a marvelous technology. We now wonder how we survived before they were around. Be this as it may, don’t get rid of your radio. It works where cell phones don’t.
Nowadays, most people have a cellphone, even young kids and in an emergency, it can be a blessing or a curse. Make sure that it is a blessing. It has now become common practice to have an ICE (in case of an emergency) number listed on every cell. This is awesome for the emergency response people but most program this number into their speed dial.
What happens in an emergency when everyone is trying to get help? Remember, most people have now programmed themselves to phone that number in an emergency. So what happens in an emergency? kids frantically dial ICE, Mom or Dads number. Now Mom and Dads phones are engaged and cannot dial out!
Now don’t get me wrong. ICE numbers are good but we need to put some thought into setting them up. They are meant to be used by other people who need to contact your family if you are incapacitated. They are not meant to be numbers that you use in case of an emergency.
It will also not help if everyone has the same emergency number programmed into their phone. This will just mean that the emergency line will become engaged and if one of the youngsters get through first and are incoherent, your emergency service is engaged and cannot establish what the emergency is or where it is.
Ideally, you need the adult’s phones programmed into the emergency services and not both have the same number. One should be programmed with the local police and one on the 10111 (911 in the USA) or whatever the emergency police number is in your area.
Program each of your kids emergency numbers into their phones for them. Each one should have a different number for a different person. Preferably a neighbor that they know. This will help them calm down and if they are incoherent, the neighbor or friend will probably recognise their voice and will alert the local farmers to the situation.
So, in brief:-
- Dad Police Control room 10111 or your local control room
- Mom Local Farm response
- Child 1 Neighbor 1
- Child 2 Neighbor 2
Adults can then contact other emergency services and/or neighbors if the situation allows.
Electronic Security and Communication
Alarms and Other Gadgets
There are myriads of alarms, security cameras and technical systems in the security industry. There is definitely a place for it but do your due diligence on the equipment and services before you make any purchases or sign any contracts. Technology and Alarms help but are just that, aids. Your awareness and preparedness are what counts.
It is definitely advantageous to have a system that warns you when people are entering your property and the perimeter of your home. Once they are inside, you are in trouble so I would concentrate on the early warning but do not totally neglect the inside of the house. Install alarms on all the doors and windows, put burglar guards on the doors and windows (including non-opening windows).
Keep an open mind when it comes to communication. Communication is normally considered to be radios and cell phones but these are not the only form of communication. Hooters, Sirens, and buzzers can also be a useful means of communication in different circumstances.
Something as simple as a decent siren can be quite important. If your home is close enough to your dairy, workshop or neighbor, a decent siren can be a quick and easy alarm system and call for help. So to a buzzer from the house to the farm office or vice versa.
With regard to radios, most farmers associations have a radio network in place so it is wise to be a part of it. This will give you communication in most areas and help can be summoned via radio. You need to make sure that everyone knows how o use the radio and what channels are emergency channels.
If you are not yet truly security conscious you really need to develop that mindset. It takes time and effort but without it, you and yours will be at risk with no answer to an emergency. Preparing yourself and your family does not make you less at risk, it just prepares you to deal with it, giving you a greater chance to overcome or prevent it. This in itself will spread and is itself a deterrent.
Do a security assessment of your homestead, improve the weak points and train your family. This will improve your chances if ever the scourge of crime raises its head on your Farm.
How To Prevent Farm Attacks With Better Farm Security is a hot topic in this day and age, with people from all walks of life, giving what they believe to be “sound” advice. Make sure that you evaluate the advice, find out more about the author and ensure that they are qualified to give you advice on the topic.
Keep an open mind, evaluate all advice carefully and do the due diligence yourself. Don’t rely on what others tell you, no matter who they say they are.
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