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6 Simple Ways To Protect Your Rural Home (When You’re Miles And Miles From Police)

6 Simple Ways To Protect Your Rural Home (When You’re Miles And Miles From Police)

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Urban areas and cities aren’t the only places where crime and theft can be a problem. Rural areas are also at risk. Here are just a few ideas for how you can keep your homestead more secure and protected.

1. Get a dog

A dog is easily one of the best means of home defense. Interestingly enough, it often isn’t just the intimidation factor of the dog but the fact that they make a lot of noise which draws attention. For this reason a watch dog can be very valuable.

First off, there is a difference between a watch dog and a guard dog. Watch dogs work as an alert/alarm system. They will be very vocal if they sense something strange going on and will ideally continue making a ruckus until the owner addresses the situation. A guard dog will perform the same duty as a watch dog but will also confront an intruder to protect the property/house/owner/etc.

The vast majority of dogs can only perform as a watch dog. Truly any breed of dog is fine to have as a watch dog. Whether it’s a little terrier or an imposing looking mastiff. Most family dogs already act as watch dogs and will bark if someone pulls into the driveway and whatnot. You can easily find a nice, friendly pooch from your local shelter that will do this for you.

A guard dog is a completely different story. Many people have this idea that their dog will protect their property and attack a person. Honestly, there are few dogs (without protection training) that will actually engage an intruder in such a way unless perhaps they are cornered and react out of defense. A true guard dog is a very confident, dominant dog that requires a very knowledgeable owner who has plenty of dog experience and understand the liabilities of owning such a dog. (Recommended: The 10 Very Best Guard Dogs For Security.)

2. Put up signs

Sometimes people trespass accidently. For example, perhaps your property butts up against popular hunting grounds and a hunter enters your property line without realizing. Others may not realize someone lives on your property. Of course, someone intent on stealing from your home won’t be stopped by just a sign, but it is still important to use them as a warning and for legal reasons.

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One of the most basic signs to have displayed on your property is the classic “No Trespassing.” If you live in a rural area with lots of acreage, these signs should be displayed around the perimeter of your land. You should also have some such a sign tacked to the gates on every driveway or private road leading to your house.

Another useful sign is “Beware of Dog”– even if you don’t want or have a dog. These signs should also be located around your property and especially in an easy-to-see location on the main driveway to your house. Sometimes, people will ignore a typical beware-of-dog warning sign since they are so common. I prefer a variant of this sign with a more eye-catching message like “Warning: Guard Dog on Patrol” or “Guard Dog on Duty.” Some signs used on estates or within properties heavily guarded by loose patrolling guard dogs even go so far as to state that dogs will attack trespassers. I would recommend that if you do have a true guard dog outdoors, you should include a phone number on the sign.

Another popular sign for security are those that say surveillance cameras are in use. Again, perhaps you don’t have cameras, but the intruder doesn’t know that.

3. Add locking gates to all driveways

6 Simple Ways To Protect Your Rural Home (When You’re Miles And Miles From Police)

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There is a general rule in rural areas that a closed gate means you shouldn’t enter unless the person is expecting you. A gate is a good visual deterrent. If the gate is used in conjunction with a perimeter fence, you can also stop people from driving onto your property. For those without a perimeter fence, you can use natural materials found on your property like giant boulders or logs to prevent people from driving around the gate.

For an added element of security, you can add motion sensors to the driveway which will alert you to someone walking or driving onto your property. Aside from security, these sensors are just nice to have so you know if a visiting friend has arrived or that package you’ve been expecting is being delivered.

4. Build a perimeter fence

There are a lot of benefits to having a perimeter fence on the homestead. It is a visual and/or physical barrier to reinforce your property line, a way to keep wildlife out and a nice backup in the event livestock escape from their pastures. It’s fairly useful to be able to know exactly where your property line is as well.

A perimeter fence used primarily as a visual barrier doesn’t need to be that substantial. It could be a couple strands of barbed or barbless wire or a few strands of electric wire/tape hooked up to a solar powered charger. This is enough to let people know they’ve reached private property and shouldn’t enter — especially if you have prominent no trespassing signs on the fence or right inside of it.

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If someone really wants to get onto your property they are going to, but you can thwart their efforts further by using a combination of multi-strand barbed wire and electric fencing to deter them. (This also helps keep animals out and livestock in.) Another very good deterrent is to purposely grow thorny bushes along your perimeter fence. This works well for keeping predators out as well.

5. Use motion-activated spotlights

guard dogs protecting house

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Motion-activated spotlights are very popular, and for good reason. Aside from being useful for seeing where you are walking at night when your hands are full, they are a deterrent for both human and animal intruders. A bright light suddenly turning on is alarming for a marauding dog, coyote or raccoon while it also destroys a potential thief’s stealth.

Naturally, motion-activated lights are best used around buildings since you’ll need electricity — although there are some solar powered lights on the market. Place the lights in strategic areas like around doors, walkways or equipment stored outdoors. If it’s a predator problem you’re trying to protect your property from, you will want to use the light around livestock pens or coops as well as areas where feed and garbage are stored.

6. Invest in surveillance or game cameras

Surveillance cameras are one of the most useful tools for home security. Obviously, they won’t actively stop someone, but they will give you the ability to prosecute that person. Surveillance camera systems can be found for a fairly reasonable cost now, and many give you the ability to see the cameras while you are away through a smart phone app. Many people consider them a very worthwhile investment.

If you do really need to stick to a budget or want something more versatile, game cameras are a great idea. A good quality game cam can be placed pretty much anywhere and is especially useful in naturally wooded areas. Such cams typically stand up to harsh weather better than the average home security cameras.

Have you ever had to deal with crime in your rural area? Or maybe you have your own tips for home security? Please share your stories and advice in the comment section below! 

Do You Know The 4 Distinct Areas Of A Solid Home Defense Plan? Read More Here.

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  1. Oh for the love of ………………. GET A GUN!!

  2. Ya, a gun is good, but I say a dog can put fear into humans that another human cannot. A couple of years back the electric company sent out a team to trim back the brush 15 feet from the wires. This scruffy looking man shows up in my yard and walks up onto my porch, and then I couldn’t see him. I opened the door to find my 17 pound weiner-terrier mix pinning him up against the wall. She was nothing like mean, but she was confidant and had real teeth. He asked me if she was going to bite him, and I (not knowing who this scruffy looking dude on my porch was) told him that he needed to speak calmly and not raise his voice as the little dog with big teeth was very protective of the family. Watch dogs have many purposes on a rural farm, but when you’re so far from ANY law enforcement help, their main job in my opinion, is to create that small diversion of time that I need to get to my gun.

    Turns out the scruffy guy was no threat at all, and Lil’Bitz has since passed, but her legacy and job lives on in two boys who desparetly try to fill her shoes. 🙂

    • Next to my front gate, posted on a cedar tree. I have a sign that says, “This property guarded by pitbull security company” with a logo of a pitbull in the middle. I don’t really have a pitbull, just a small female goofy choc. lab. But any strangers walking onto the property don’t know that.

    • A word of advice re: “Beware Of The Dog” signs, if Spot takes a great, big, wet chunk out of a trespasser’s butt he/she can, and will, sue the crap out of you by claiming that you knew your dog was dangerous.

      Instead place a series of property signs that clearly state “Do Not Enter Property Under Any Circumstances”, this decreases the likelihood of getting sued.

      Best of luck with your preps.

  3. Get a gun. Get a backup gun.

  4. I’d personally feel better if the story was “6 Simple Ways To Protect Your Rural Home From Police”. Seriously.

    Quad 50’s? Claymores? Punji sticks? Thermo-nuclear weapon?

  5. I also would add security film on the sliding glass doors or key entry windows. It is only about $30 a window and really gives you the time you need to hide, get out, or get a weapon. Also strike plate locks are awesome at buying you time to prepare.

  6. I put target sheets out in the border of wide open spaces where it is a natural point to enter the property. I use ones that I have shot up pretty thoroughly. It worked pretty well for some hunters cutting through the treeline alongside a field. They saw the tacked up board and made a beeline for the road. I think they got the point.

  7. I installed Impact doors and Windows from at my home, I think its one of the best investments I have made, they not only protect my home from the anti-social elements but also from the various natural disasters.

  8. I love all these great ideas, and most of them I have in place. But, being a retired Green Beret I still refuse to “hunker down” and hope the wolf goes away……….buy high quality firearms and ammo, and become very proficient in using them! Do not ever give up your right, and capacity to defend your own life and the lives of those around you! De Oppresso Libre…………JB in MT

  9. Yes a gun is necessary. I’ve found through personal experience though that if you have a “Beware of Dog” sign, in addition to the legalities mentioned above, the Postal Service, FedEx and UPS can refuse to deliver to you. Also advertising a gun with targets, or humorous /threatening signs mean that you’ve just told people that you’ve got some – you become a target for fun thieves when you’re not there.
    The Do Not Trespass signs, the dogs, fences, cameras and impact protection are great ideas. I’ve got all of the above.

  10. Nice

  11. My parents are thinking of moving to a pretty rural location, and being their overprotective daughter, I want to make sure they’re safe in a place like that. It is so true that putting up a fence is a great way to show where your property line is which can warn off trespassers or people who stumble to your property by accident. If I was in this situation I would want to use all of these tips to help me keep my family safe. Thank you for the helpful information!

  12. Good to read!

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