This year has changed the way we behave at home and on our farms. With the coming weeks set to be different from the usual comings and goings of the festive period, families are now expected to spend more time at home. We are encouraging people to prioritise safety on farms and homes.
Most farms have valuable livestock, expensive machines, and equipment. Due to current restrictions and government recommendations people will not be travelling as much. However, it is still important to take precautions to ensure the safety of your land, livestock, and equipment.
Keeping your farm safe this Christmas
Always secure your home or farm and restrict access by sectioning it off with secure gates or fences. Once you are finished in the yard for the evening, close off and lock access routes. If you will be leaving the house or farm, even for a short period of time, remember to keep doors and gates locked and close any windows.
Good lighting is essential on farms, around yards and houses. CCTV cameras are also a useful security precaution to have. If you do not have CCTV, alarm systems, sensor lights or motion detectors are a good alternative.
Keep your livestock safe by keeping gates, fences, and hedges in good repair. Where possible, lock yard and stockyard gates. Always tag your animals and keep blue cards in a safe place.
Keep a recent record of your animals and take photographs or videos of any animals with ear tags clearly visible. Farming app, Herdwatch, is a useful tool for keeping up to date records of your animals.
We would recommend storing any expensive equipment, small machinery, or tools in a secure shed. Preferably a shed that is visible or nearby a house. If possible, mark your tools and equipment with your house code, phone number or another detail of identification. Keep a register with pictures, details, and descriptions of what you own. If you do have CCTV or a home alarm system, surveillance of this shed should be considered.
For bigger machines, if they cannot be stored in a shed, keep them in a safe place. Preferably away from the road. Always remove keys from your vehicles and machines when not in use and once again, mark them with your house code, phone number etc. Be sure to add details and pictures of your larger machines to the register.
It is also important to have secure boundaries around your property. Physical barriers like fences, walls and in some cases, hedges are suitable to mark your land. Signs are another option to mark your property.
Walkers may not realise that they crossed over land so a simple ‘no trespassing’ or ‘private property’ sign can help identify your land from your neighbours. On a farm, safety signs are essential. Ensure they are visible around the yard on walls and gates and kept clean. Also, if you have a home alarm or CCTV, you should put up a sign displaying this near a main entrance.
Due to Covid 19-restrictions, it is unlikely that there will be unknown callers. However, if you do experience an unexpected visit, always ask for identification. Take note of what they are wearing, any identify features i.e hair colour, tattoos, and the colour and registration of their vehicle. Write these down as soon as possible to prevent forgetting or mixing up details.
If you do see an unknown or suspicious vehicle in your area, call your local An Garda Síochána station and check-in on your neighbours. Older neighbours can be especially vulnerable, always take note of anything out of the ordinary when driving past, call them or social distance check-in on them.
If you require fencing to secure your property, FRS Fencing provide top quality fencing. For more information about a wide range of fencing available, our supply and erect service, or to get expert advice, contact your local office or visit www.frsfencing.ie.