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Home Security For The Off-Grid Homestead
You’ve made the decision and investment to use an off-grid power source: solar, wind, hydro, your own generator, or a combination. You’ve detached your homestead from the grid. This is certainly a significant step in self-sufficiency but what about home security on the off-grid homestead?
We live in an uncertain and often dangerous society. Most of us consider the safety of our homes and property no matter where we live. Living off-grid can present certain challenges when we begin to consider security. Let’s talk about some of our options and see if we can’t discover what works best for you and your homestead.
Home Security Systems
If you’re like us, a modern security system isn’t in the plans. The main concern is, of course, our homes. We sleep here, house our loved ones, and keep our valuables. In looking at security on the off-grid homestead, let’s begin at home and work our way out.
Most modern home security systems rely on being connected to a continuous supply of electricity. The first idea would be to set up a standard security system and integrate the additional energy required to operate it into your energy consumption plan. Most system suppliers will provide you with the energy requirements during your information gathering process. This allows you to adjust your energy consumption plan.
Battery-operated alarms are an option. It’s possible to put them on entryways, windows, and doors to create a simple alarm system. They consume little energy from your off-grid power supply to keep their batteries charged. The biggest advantages of this type of system will be the easy installation and low energy cost.
If you don’t connect them to your power supply, you’ll have to deal with two things. You’ll have to stock up on fresh batteries which can become expensive. You’ll also need to establish a routine for checking the life of the battery and replacing them as needed.
Of course, nothing beats a good solid door with a few locks. They allow you the time you need to react in self-defense. Your windows should likewise have good locks.
A smart lady once told me why she had such spikey bushes planted outside all the bedroom windows. She said, “It sure would be hard for somebody to get in on me without me hearing them crying out in pain.” I had a holly bush outside my bedroom window when I was a girl. I’m not sure if it was to keep people from climbing in or to keep me from climbing out, not that I would have mind you!
Home Security Fencing
Homesteading fencing is a time-honored part of security on the farm. It’s used for all kinds of purposes. From keeping out big critters, like moose or bear, to protecting crops from smaller critters like rabbits.
Electric fencing in one of our favorite types of fencing on the homestead. Today, solar chargers can be purchased relatively cheaply and prove to be an asset in security on the off-grid homestead. We have used it for such a wide variety of projects.
We’ve used it for protecting the garden from deer and rabbits. We’ve used it to serve as temporary fencing for pasture rotation. It’s kept our goats safe from bears and in check, well, mostly in check. We’ve also used it to protect flower gardens.
One of the main drawbacks of an electric fence, for some people, is you must check it daily depending on the use. A limb may be on the fence or grass may be growing up into it causing a short out. There’s also the possibility of a broken wire which can shut down the whole fence. To help alleviate some of these risks and others, we prefer to use a barbed wire fence in tandem with an electric fence. Especially once you consider upfront cost, upkeep, and reliability.
Estate fencing is a sturdy fence which encloses the whole property or at least the portion containing the house. While these are costly upfront, there’s little to no upkeep. Most of us are constrained from this investment because of the initial costs.
Other Security Ideas
When creating a fortress of solitude, most people think about building a fence to keep unwanted visitors out. However, plants make a much better defense for home security. Fences tend to draw curiosity, while plants seem to go unnoticed. That is until someone tries to walk through them! Here are ten amazing plants you need to plant for a natural home security system. Click here to read more.
Line of sight
Take a look at your location and carefully consider the terrain. Are there areas which provide camouflage for humans or animal intruders? If at all possible, make sure you have a clear line of sight in all directions. If you have livestock of any kind, make sure you can see them, or they are at least within earshot of your home. A predator doesn’t need much time to wreak havoc in your herd or flock.
The right dog
One of the oldest and still, in my opinion, the best things for security on the off-grid homestead is man’s best friend. Nothing beats good guard dogs. They’re loyal and the best breeds bond with their owners as well as their flocks and land.
Dogs have been used for many centuries and for good reason. If you get the right dog, he will find happiness and fulfillment in his job of patrolling and protecting his territory. The Pack is an important part of any homestead.
The line of sight is not as big an issue when you have a great dog. They’ll pick up any unfamiliar scent on your homestead and investigate. They have the superpower of their ears which seems to jar them from a deep sleep to check things out. They establish a patrol area and are diligent in keeping it.
Other guard animals
Home security guard animals
As good as dogs are, they work even better when you have other whistleblowers. Guineas not only eat bugs by the bucket load, but they also have a knack of raising the alarm when something or someone strange gets to close. Of course, the ultimate watch bird is the attack goose! I remember as a girl being chased by an attack goose. They are intense, to say the least when they decide to raise the alarm.
One of my favorite whistleblowers is the donkey or mule. They will bond with the herd and defend them to the death. A pack of wolves or coyotes can easily kill a young goat or calf.
I had a neighbor years ago who had mules and donkeys with her goat herd. She called me to come to take a look at one of her mules. It had been attacked chasing away a bear or panther. She didn’t see the critter, but the wounds were evident.
The best protection for your homestead is a combination of all these options, but the most important thing is being aware. Be observant of your surroundings and invest in your own skills of self-defense. We are gun owners. Training to properly use weapons of any kind is important. This ensures you can safely and efficiently use them to protect yourself and those you love, if and when necessary.
What form of security do you use? Share your tips and experience with us.
If you are getting ready to move to new land, you may home security issues you’ve never thought of.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and Roxie