Farmers are facing the highest rates of rural crime since 2011. Farm insurers NFU are stressing the importance of effective prevention and reporting of criminal activity – especially as many farms are also family homes. They have issued a guide to assist farmers to safeguard their assets and interests in 2020 and beyond. Amongst the recommendations are digital solutions around access. Farm gate sensor alarms utilising smart technologies are proving an effective option for farm security. They also offer some additional benefits.
Distance is no issue
The nature of farm locations make them vulnerable to crime. Many farmers have extensive distances to police. Monitoring the integrity of fences and fence lines is financially costly and requires intensive, consistent efforts from personnel to achieve a margin of effectiveness. Smart gate sensors and alarms simply and cost-effectively counteract these issues. Through a system of tags, sensors, and pressure pads, farmers receive real-time alerts on any perimeter breaches – with instantly actionable notifications sent to farmers’ personalised, remote dashboards.
When it comes to security, a dynamic view of who is on your property is a valuable tool. By integrating with CCTV and other technologies, smart gate sensors have the ability to prevent unauthorised access to farm properties – and notify farm owners and managers of any such breach. Together with smart tracking technologies, individual assets can be secured and monitored for a holistic take on security.
An airtight system of access control also presents meaningful solutions for biosecurity. By developing digital systems to monitor the movement of visitors, staff, and vehicles on farms, farmers are better able to prevent potential contamination and movement of pathogens around different areas of farms.
The integrity of fences is important for safety and security of farm assets from criminal activity, but is equally important in keeping livestock in. If a fence is broken, it poses a risk of injury to livestock, which is one reason why mending fences as quickly as possible should be at the top of any farmer’s agenda. Wandering livestock can also trample crops, resulting in losses – not to mention the time and money that may be required to locate and recover these animals.
Smart gate sensors – together with smart technologies like GPS cattle collars – have the ability to notify farmers if a fence goes down and locate any wandering livestock. Lastly, there are also legal implications attached to the movement of private livestock on to common land – so these technologies assist in keeping livestock in and keeping you within the law.
If you utilise specialist pest fencing to prevent your harvest being raided by pests, smart technologies can also help to maintain the integrity of these fences. Some smart technologies on the market will notify farmers of damage to such fencing to help in efforts to protect crops.
Reduce the worry around public footpaths
According to Farmer’s Weekly, the Health and Safety Executive has reported that two to three walkers on public footpaths are killed each year by livestock – and dozens more are injured. This hotly-debated topic has seen many farmers put extra effort into ensuring that walkers and dog walkers do not deviate from paths – with legal liability a primary concern on this point.
Smart gate sensors are a good way for farmers to elevate their efforts to ensure safety in this regard. They can inform farmers of unauthorised movements, but can also alert farmers to gates being left open. A case in 2004 found that, although a farmer’s gate had been left open by a third party, he still attracted liability for his livestock running on to a public road and causing a severe accident. The court said he should have reasonably foreseen that this would happen. Smart gate sensors are an early-alert system perfectly geared to address these kinds of issues.
It’s time to get smarter about farm security with farm gate sensor alarms
Farm gate sensor alarms form one vital component of the smart farm security solutions from Smarter Technologies. With real-time data transmitted over the zero-trust Orion Data Network to farmers’ personalised dashboards, the traditional challenges of farm security have met their match with Smart Technologies.