By Richard McIntyre, Federated Farmers telecommunications spokesperson
In the November FedsNews we talked about extending the reach of your wifi – this month we are going to talk about how to put it to use protecting your home and farm, especially as we head into the holiday season (and Boxing Day sales).
In 2021 our Rural Security survey found that farmers were using security cameras and the deterrent they provided to reduce unexplained fuel usage from farm fuel tanks, to monitor suspicious activity and provide evidence to police should an incident occur. Some of the cameras on the market will also alert you to activity directly to your phone, and is especially useful for catching possums more often than actual intruders.
Immediate past-Feds board member, Chris Lewis is an avid user and has provided some advice:
- The Eufy cameras use a home base which you connect to your wifi and the home base then connects with several outdoor cameras that you can manage from your smart phone.
- Placing the cameras at different angles – having cameras at a high angle can mean intruders wearing hoodies and hats will be able to hide their face. It also makes it difficult to read the number plate of a vehicle, so have a mixture of cameras that are high up that can see a wide area and low to the ground pointing up to capture more detail.
- Monitor the entrance to the farm (if you can) or as far down the driveway as the camera’s range will reach (some can comfortably reach over 100 metres from the homebase).
- Having a camera on the fuel tank (and telling staff that it is there) will deal with any unexplained fuel use almost instantly.
- Monitor places of high risk, such as where you store your quad bike, animal medications and chemicals.
- Put signs up to say the property is monitored by security cameras; that in itself is a good deterrent.
- Tell everyone you’ve got cameras (apparently this is the secret – no one will come within an inch of your farm ever again).
How do I get and install these cameras?
A brand Chris loves is called Eufy – they come in a pack of four, are wireless and work outdoors with a home base. They go for around $1200 from Bunnings (take your Federated Farmers membership card and you might get a discount) but watch for the Boxing Day sales from various electronics suppliers.
The key thing is to have your homebase within range of your wifi modem, and the homebase will cast its own network to talk to each of the cameras. If you have set up a mesh or wifi extender (see the last article on the FedsNews website for advice), you will be able to place your homebase at a strategic position to get the most out of your set up.
Once you have purchased a pack with a home base, you can always get more cameras to add to it (Eufy have handy Youtube videos to talk you through it as well as a very easy to use app).
This is just another example of how (if you can) improving your connectivity can have benefits across your business and if as Feds we can continue to deliver improvements on that front, the benefits to our rural community can be huge.