Build gates (bi-folding, pedestrian, slide, swing or vertical) and/or chain-link or mesh wire fences (against smaller intruders) to mark the boundaries of your homestead and signify that the property is private. Periodically check your gates and fences to see if these structures are maintained well.
Secure your side gate by making sure there are no shrubs covering its visibility. Do not leave items (bins, boxes, ladders, etc.) near your gate or fences to be climbed. Install security lighting above the side gate – a security camera gives it plus points. Always remember to close and lock the gates.
Strategically plant thorny, spiky, dense bushes or hedging to create a "biological razor wire" to deter intruders from checking out your belongings or watching you and your family – without compromising the look of your landscape. Learn more about the best defensive plants for home security from Gardener's Path.
Make "harmless" obstacles for human intruders, such as pit traps and trip wires.
Give the illusion of robust security with security signs all around your property, such as "beware" signs for your dog (or dogs).
Set up defenses within your boundaries
Protect your boundaries by following these tips:
Have a one-way-in and one-way-out driveway. Line your driveway with logs that you or any member of your family can easily roll out to trap intruders.
Use pea gravel (which tends to crunch more) to cover your driveways and foot or walk paths that are wide enough that they cannot be circumvented. Include pathways between all of the outbuildings (barns, garages, sheds) and any other tracks along the outer areas.
Allow some open space so you can easily recognize if you have an intruder on your property. Without open space, someone or something can easily be behind bushes, shrubs, trees and others you may have on your homestead.
Get dogs. The intriguing Mountain Cur has been dubbed as a "prepper's best friend" and is best known for its courage, devotion, loyalty and intelligence (knows when to fight off an intruder). Learn about other breeds that seem to understand the importance of family and home and will protect both with great vigor and selflessness.
Raise chickens, guinea fowl, donkeys, geese, goats, llamas, mules, parrots or add other territorial animals that make pretty loud noises when threatened.
Avoid painting your home and other structures in your homestead with bright colors or make it expensive-looking.
Reinforce all your door frames so they can withstand forceful entry. Install a kickstop. Add a layer of steel to prevent the door frame from splitting or replace the whole door frame with a steel alternative. Invest in high-security locks to prevent lock snapping. You can fit a metal grill on the inside of a glazed door or just replace glazed door panels with toughened or laminated glass panels, fitted from the inside. Install a peephole. Make sure your entryway is well-lit.
Make sure your windows are functioning properly. Upgrade your window locks. Replace your window panes with bullet-proof, impact-resistant window film or laminated windows, depending on your available budget.
Connect your doors and windows to your home security. Add emergency contacts, like 911, relatives, trusted friends or neighbors on your auto-dial security alarm systems.
Equip your family with home defense weapons and tactics
You are your home's final line of defense. Prepare and do the following:
Build a safe room to use in the event intruders are able to crash through your outside defenses or an extreme weather event.
Stockpile firearms, ammunition and other homestead defense weapons, including a selection of non-lethal ones. Keep a small stash of them in each room of your home and every building on your homestead. Make sure every responsible member of your family knows the basic rules of safe gun handling and use. Know how to properly use the others you stockpiled as well.
Build good relationships with like-minded neighbors who want homestead security as much as you do. Sometimes it takes a village who can look out for each other. Think of your trusted neighbors who follow the "see something and say something" rule of a community watch.