Take Me Home, Country Roads: Home Security in Rural Areas
Taking a break from the city to start a calm, less hurried life in the country is great, and a very rewarding move for many Americans. But for them, or for seasoned farmers who are more acquainted with self-sufficient security measures, it’s important to think about the best way to handle the potential situation of a break-in.
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It’s not just big cities that have crime, and many burglars in rural areas will actually count on working people being on other parts of the property, and have the guts to rob the house during those daytime hours. After all, the chances of someone driving by and noticing are very low in remote towns.
The best way for a former city slicker or a seasoned farmer to protect a more rural property is a healthy combination of being self-sufficient and exercising common sense planning, as well as a well-thought-out system that involves a home alarm and a quick connection to local law enforcement.
The first and most important step that any homeowner can take towards diminishing their chances of being robbed is taking care to make the house look perpetually occupied. Whether it’s a few hours out in the fields or a week out of town, an empty house is even more obvious in a rural area, because there’s absolutely no change in activity.
Invest in lights attached to a timer, for both the interior and the exterior, so that it seems like people are coming and going. Keep all doors and windows closed and locked even when leaving the property for a couple of hours, so it isn’t obvious that you don’t plan on being back for awhile.
While some people might think that home security measures begin at the front door to your home or barn, the truth is that it starts way out at the property line. Be sure to keep the fences surrounding your property in tip-top condition, and go to the trouble of posting signs warning against trespassing, perhaps even including a beware of dog emblem or an alarm company sticker.
Making sure that the property looks well maintained and cared for is a deterrent, because burglars would rather go onto someone’s farm where it’s clear that things are a little more disorganized.
It might be true that country life means worrying a little less, but don’t go too far in the other direction and start to get careless. Newcomers will often rave about not needing to lock their doors, or even crazier, just leaving the keys in the ignition when they pull up to the house at night. Always be sure to remove keys from cars, as well as from any farm equipment.
Be sure to keep the local law enforcement phone number programmed into your cell phone and your home phone, especially in areas where cell phones often don’t get very good service. If there are only a few houses on your cop’s beat, then it’s good to get in and get acquainted, especially if their drive to your property in the case of an emergency would take a while.
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An alarm will alert all the law enforcement officials who happen to be in the area, but more than that, the noise will startle the burglar and hopefully encourage a hasty exit, too.