Farm equipment, tools, fuel and miscellaneous items are often out in the open leaving opportunity for theft. While it’s not possible to “lock down” your entire farm, you can take steps to ensure your equipment is safe and discourage theft, which not only could save you money, but also the hassle of filing reports and replacing lost property.
Lock it up
- Lock machine sheds, fuel tanks and other buildings (as practical) during the evening. Establish a lockout policy for equipment when it is not in use.
- Don’t leave machinery, even scrap metal, out in the open. If possible, avoid having equipment exposed visibly from the road.
- Don’t leave keys in tractors or other equipment. Doing so is presenting an invitation for thieves to sneak in and drive off the property with your essential equipment. Keep your keys in a safe place where you can find them easily, but not so easy that a thief could find them first.
Light it up
- Farms are often very dark at night and cover a large amount of space. Install light motion sensors or dusk-to-dawn lights in key and dimly lit areas.
- Consider using additional technology such as motion detected security cameras which also have spotlights if motion is detected.
Mark your property
- Engrave tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles with your name. It may make it easier to identify stolen property.
- Keep detailed records and provide proof of ownership of equipment. This may include bills of sale, serial numbers, titles and photos. Make sure to keep an updated insurance inventory and keep your agent updated at your annual review. Should you need to file a claim, this information will be beneficial to help recover and/or replace your items.
Make a safety plan
- Talk with family and employees to watch for suspicious activity such as repetitive, slow moving vehicles near farm property.
- If you see suspicious activity, report it to law enforcement. Your information may be useful to see if there is a pattern in the neighborhood.