Protect your farm and livestock
BY JERRY LITTLE
Is your farm protected against everyday crime? The measures to take to protect your land and property from both types of crime are similar and well worth the effort to put in place. The following information can help you start planning.
• Ask your insurance agent to walk your farm with you and review your coverage.
• Identify your property for emergency personnel with three-inch reflective numbers on the mailbox, post or other location.
• Install a well-hidden emergency information box for emergency personnel. Items in the information box should include an up-to-date farm map, a list of emergency contact persons and their phone numbers, locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals and material safety data sheets, and a list of the major contents of each building. Have the box location on file at your 911 dispatch center, and inform your local fire and police chiefs or sheriff.
• Store all pesticides and farm chemicals in a locked and weatherproof building and as recommended by the label instructions.
• Invite your local fire department to your farm for a safety and security check. You should have numerous working fire extinguishers in plain sight. Employees should know where they are and how to use them. You should have working fire alarms in place. Replace their batteries every six months. Show fire personnel the locations of water mains, electricity control boxes, fuel and chemical supplies, your emergency information box and livestock holding areas. Remove woodpiles, debris piles, brush and other potential hiding places near these buildings.
• Install and maintain gates and locks, and use them whenever possible. Never leave keys in vehicles or equipment. Tag and code keys. Keep them in a secure place. Keep the number of key copies to a minimum; sign them out when needed. Recover keys and change locks when employees are fired or leave.
• Install adequate lighting to permit work and deter theft or other crimes. Light critical areas such as fuel tanks, grain bins and chemical storage areas. Place video cameras, motion detection lights or other electronic monitoring devices in strategic locations. Use watchdogs in appropriate locations.
• Place an emergency contact list next to each phone. Include fire, police, ambulance, veterinarian and poison control numbers. Pre-program the emergency numbers into cell phones.
For more information, contact the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Service.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating.
Jerry Little, County Extension Agent for Agriculture/Natural Resources