Author Topic: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead  (Read 7631 times)

Offline dittyfish

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Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« on: October 06, 2013, 07:03:57 AM »
Hey Folks,

We recently moved to our new homestead in Northeast Georgia.  Things have been going well, but I've been thinking more and more about perimeter security of the property (or lack there of).  We live on 5 acre rectangular lot along a river, the other three sides of the property face 1. Main county road (entrance to property) 2. Fairly steep ridge line with a seasonal creek that seperates my property from neighbor 3. A vacant parcel that can also be accessed by the main county road.  Right now there is an old cattle fence that can be pulled across the driveway, but I'm pretty sure someone in a Toyata Yaris could knock it down (its attached to VERY old 4" round posts) and we haven't made a habit of shutting it at night...THe house is a good 100yrds off the main county road on the back third of the property.
 Around 9pm last night someone comes cruising down my drive...Once they saw the house lit up and me standing in the window they immediately turned around..My drive is pretty inconspicuous to begin with and we are a good bit out of town, I'm guessing they were not lost.
So just trying to figure out whats practical and sensical from perimeter security-none of my neighbors have gates or fences in front of their property, but I learned long ago the conventional wisdom is usually wrong.  I'm thinking of adding field fencing to the side of the property  that borders the vacant parcel and four board pasture fence to the front of the property with a proper gate (maybe with sometype of solar gate opener?) 
At the same time, the money I spend doing this could be spent on a lot of other projects to develop resiliency  and the budget is tight with two young kids to care for as well.  In the long term, I would of course like to put in a Hedge of black locust or do a Sepp Holzer style, massive hugel beds, but these things take years.  Not sure I have that time when it comes to security...
Just curious as to what other folks are doing in regards to perimeter security or any advice they would give me. 

Thanks, Dittyfish
DittyFish

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Offline bdhutier

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 07:25:07 AM »
Perimeter security is a tricky subject, as I learned rapidly in the military.  I'd recommend concentraiting the bulk of your efforts on the "resource," I.e. your house.

That said, field fence, or even 4-5 strand barbed wire and a good gate will be very important.  Not necessarily as a preventive barrier, but as a clear demarcation line.  This is the first (not the only) thing I'm looking for in a use of force event.  Did the landowner make it clear the intruder was not authorized to be on the property.  Fencing may or may not be a deterrent, but it clarifies how welcome strangers are to enter your property unannounced, and uninvited.
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Offline fred.greek

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 09:44:20 AM »
Just babbling here… how about just inside your driveway:

Battery motion sensor activated red light, on a Private Property – Do Not Trespass sign.

A visible barrier, no matter how flimsy, even a bright colored rope / chain across the driveway from a post on each side.

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Offline Veritas

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 10:04:10 AM »
Murs has a good system and the MSB gets a discount. Also look for some good thorny bushes to put around the perimeter. Examples of thorny shrubs include Barberry, Hawthorn, Holly, Fire Thorn, Bramble, Currant, Locust and Rose shrubs. Pick one that is right for the landscaping of the property as well as the security of the home.
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Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 10:22:58 AM »
I may be reading it incorrectly, but to me it sounded like the person opened the gate that you closed that night to come up your driveway. 

If that's the case, then I think you are completely right to be concerned.  To me it sounds like they could have been checking the house to see if they could steal, destroy, etc.

I'd start out by improving that fence near the driveway and the gate.  I'd also get in the habit of closing it all the time.  I feel that it gets the local criminals guessing about if you are there or not.  Maybe lock it regularly as well. And post it no trespassing.

I also agree that putting some sort of proximity sensor system just inside the driveway would be a good thing.
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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 10:28:46 AM »
I'd start with a driveway alarm to let you know someone's come onto the property when you're asleep or not paying attention.  I have one from Gadget Shack that I use with three sensors so it covers all the approaches to my house.  For me, it's just good peace of mind for under $200.

I'd also look at various options for the gate next.  But that's a ways down the list for me from other priorities if you haven't already got your basics covered, like a deep pantry, generator, chain saw, fuel storage, etc.  I haven't made it a priority for myself because I have nosey retired neighbors that tell me about every car that pulls into the driveway when I'm away.  However, if you have no neighbors, making a burglar walk 100 yards, exposed, with in-home DVR security cameras clearly visible is a great deterrent, IMHO. 

Over the long run, adding a hedgerow is a good, inexpensive way to have some food production and security out of otherwise wasted space.  A good variety like Veritas mentioned, plus adding in some things that are good eating, like hazelsnuts, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, apples, and other edible varieties of shrubby stuff would make the most out of your land space.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 10:33:20 AM »
Don't know if you're interested, but a running type of bamboo establishes within a couple years.  It's a pretty cheap way to close areas off.  Just keep in mind that wherever you plant it, it's going to take over.  We have some now that we're putting in for the exact same reasons you're talking about.  After cutting down bamboo at our friend's house for three days, we came to realize that it is NO JOKE.  It will keep people out.  On foot or in a vehicle.  The ONLY reasons I considered planting it on our property were that 1) we want to block access off inexpensively, 2) we have plenty of farm projects that we want bamboo for, and 3) I have a tractor with a bucket and bush hog to keep the bamboo from completely taking over (maybe.....fingers crossed).

The type we got grows up to 4 inches in diameter.  It is TOUGH stuff and once it is grown up (3 to 4 years), you are not going to walk through it.  You are not going to drive through it.  You can barely SEE through it.  I don't know if it would do well in your climate zone, but with hundreds (maybe thousands) of bamboo species, you should be able to find something that does well there.  Best of luck, and we agree with you that the security of your family is a serious concern.
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Offline Fixit

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 10:50:52 AM »
Sounds like someone looking for a field to spotlight deer in or Saturday night drunks crusin the back roads . A good gate is all you need to stop them. Murs driveway alarms is my vote for warnings.

nelson96

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 10:53:49 AM »
Great ideas from everyone, so I'm going to respond to the threads 'subject' question. . .  Am I being stupid?

Absolutely not.  For the first five years we owned our place my wife was a very light sleeper.  She would wake up over the smallest noise and her dreams were very vivid and would freak her out.  When she woke up she would be hysterical and I would have to get out of bed and go outside and check things out.  This happenned a few times a week.  Now that we have a security system in, she sleeps like a baby, doesn't have the same kind of dreams and isn't so anxious.   

Offline dittyfish

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 05:42:13 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the very sound and practical advice.  The driveway alarm and keeping the gate shut sound like very good short term solutions that we can start to implement immediately.
Flippy, I'm a little scared of bamboo, but I can definitely see its value-anyone ever plant River Cane?
DittyFish

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Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 06:34:59 PM »
You are right to be scared of bamboo.  It can get away from you.  If your bamboo moves into a neighbor's property, you are responsible for it.  There have been quite a few lawsuits over invasive bamboo.
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Offline GrizzlyAdams

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 04:12:13 PM »
I am a big fan of the MURS sensor and radios from murs-radio.com.  I installed them during hurricane Sandy (when people started stealing generators) and they are awesome!

The sensors run on batteries, and the handheld works on batteries or wall outlet.  I have found them to be reliable in all weather conditions, and now we have the system "on" every day.

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Offline GreyWolf

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 06:00:02 PM »
Get a dog, a big dog with a dog house, keep it chained to the dog house by the house.Dogs are very territorial and will bark if someone drives up the driveway.Burglars hate dogs and will avoid homes with dogs.Well worth the effort and upkeep.

Offline 18C Troll

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 02:14:15 PM »
A close up passive barrier system is always useful. Using planter boxes, raised bed gardens, or terra cotta planters are a way to keep vechiles from an area or channeling them into a better location for observation or defense.  Also if you take PVC pipe about 6 feet long and fill them with concrete, then take and bury PVC pipes sligthly larger than the tubes, you can make rapidly deployable perimeter fenceing. The barriers should stick up about 2-3 feet above the ground and provide something solid to crash into if a car or truck get too close.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 02:35:04 PM »
Even if you have no other perimeter fence, even a good gate across the driveway keeps good people out. If they come through the gate they are not lost.



Set one hinge pin up, set one down.. or WELD washers to the top of the pin after your gate is on. If you do not have them turned or welded, people can lift the gate off its hinges and use the LOCK as a hinge. Trust me.. seen it happen and how I ended up pointing a rifle at 2 men.

If you are a DIY guy, http://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/woodworking/Community-Shop-Projects/Farm-Gate.html


A step up from a mere gate is to plant useable edible THORNY plants.. plant blackberries, roses, Fire Thorn, buckthorn, gooseberries, pomegranate, Kumquats, whatever will grow where you are. Make a hedge row on each side of your gate as far as you like. Mix and match even.

A lock. Depending on where I was, if a person came though a locked gate, they were trouble. If your dog lets you know and you see it happening, you have time to go to whatever Step #2 is.

I have lived in a couple places which only had the gate. It got the point across to humans. To free range cattle, not-so-much.

Everyone needs exercise, you can open a gate in any kind of weather and it doesn't cost you $1,000+. I never needed one for 40 years and I do not see myself ever getting one. *L*

As to the rest of your property, can you make hedge rows? I am going to try to do that this year after talking to someone who professionally does it at the conference I went to. Even willow stuck in the ground along a string line will start a good fenceline. If you cut them the right way for hedgingrowing, you could get a living fence within a year.

These are one year old willow.


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Offline David in MN

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Re: Am I being stupid? Perimeter security at Homestead
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 03:01:09 PM »
Modify your driveway so it isn't straight. Long, curvy drives don't invite trouble. I know someone who has a drive that crosses a small creek with a low area populated by rattlers. So after I go 1/4 mile through woods I ford a creek and watch the snakes on either side of the car...

He's an out there kind of dude (millionaire Nam vet) and I wouldn't go as far out but narrow, bumpy, windy driveways do prevent approach.
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