The value of buildings, equipment, livestock and crops is immense. I grew up in an era, and area, where we felt safe and the spirit of neighbourhood watch was alive and well. We didn’t often think about protecting our assets from man-made threats; Mother Nature was our biggest concern.
Now, I still believe in the principle of neighbourhood watch, and I do not want to live with a mindset of fear. However, I also want to be realistic about the value of assets and potential threats to these assets when they are in rural locations. This week, we will be talking about protecting your assets from a number of different technology perspectives. However, today addresses the low-tech, attitudes and behaviors that we can shift to keep our assets safe.
Lock your equipment doors, or at least remove your keys. (There a number of lock-box options if you want to keep your key with your equipment and still be able to lock it.)
Lock your bins and keep your keys in another location.
Lock your fuel tanks and keep your keys in another location.
Don’t just check the fence: Check your livestock in pasture regularly and include a head count.
Maintain a well-lit site. Lighting can reduce hiding spots and ensure that your other higher-tech solutions, like cameras, can do their job properly as well.
Communicate with your neighbours. Let neighbours know if you plan to be away, if you see suspicious activity or if you experience vandalism or theft. Do not assume that they know or have heard from someone else; communication is key in a neighbourhood watch system.
These steps are small, and large, at the same time. For many of us, they will require a change in routines. Just after switching to a key-pegboard in the house, there were many many times that my Dad arrived at a tractor without the key. For the record, these were not happy times!
Each farm and farmer will have to find a balance that works for them. However, don’t wait until you experience a loss to think about protecting your assets. The investment of money, time and effort will be well spent. At the very least, take the time to make sure that you are weighing the risks and making an active decision about the common sense prevention strategies that you choose to put into practice.
P.S. My girls are lobbying hard for “get a dog”, which, to be fair, is also a legitimate way to protect your assets.