Garda advice: Top tips to secure your farmyard this winter

At this time of year farmyards tend to be subjected to night-time thefts, according to An Garda Síochána.

Gardaí based in the midlands counties of Laois and Offaly highlighted that they are continuing their Crime Prevention checkpoints around these counties.

Laois-Offaly Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Graham Kavanagh outlined advice for farmers to ensure their yards are secure.

He based his advice around the following tools and methods to keep criminals at bay:
  • Security lights;
  • Locks;
  • Securing the oil tank;
  • Oil level gauges;
  • CCTV; and
  • Monitored alarms.

First off, the sergeant noted that security lights can have a very positive effect and make property a much harder target for the thief.

In addition, a good quality closed shackle padlock fitted to the tank opening should be your starting point.

On securing the oil tank, Sergeant Kavanagh said that a wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank and is probably the strongest method of target hardening.

A metal or grill cage with a lockable access point across the top of this wall or fence can further improve security, he added.

Remote electronic oil level gauges are available which will set off an audible alarm when the oil level drops dramatically, as would happen if there were a leak or theft, and alerts the receiver unit.

There are units on the market today that will even send a text alert to your mobile phone, he noted.

“Installing CCTV may sound extreme. However, small infra-red cameras are fairly cheap these days,” the Garda sergeant said.

“A covert camera to record the number plates of any cars or vans entering your driveway could help. It may not stop thieves but could help trace them later. Placing a highly visible camera on your property may act as a deterrent to thieves, especially in areas where natural surveillance is scarce.

A lot of farmers in particular are going for new security products on the market which monitors your yard by wireless beams when you are not there.

“When activated if somebody enters your yard, you are notified on your phone by a monitoring station,” Sergeant Kavanagh noted.