When you think of a rural setting, do you picture the calm and idyllic sights? What about cities? Do you conjure up images of flashing police lights and vandals masquerading in the night? While many people balk at the idea of city living and consider a rural surrounding much safer, the statistics point to a slightly different story.

Property crime, no matter where you reside, is an alarming statistic that needs attention. While evidence points to rural areas as safer than urban areas when it comes to property crime and burglary, the numbers do not fall too far behind. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that for 2014, property crime rates in urban areas were 148.8 vs 103.2 per nearly 15 million total crimes. The difference, then, of living in a rural area does not seem too much different to urban areas. Additionally, living far away from civilization means police or paramedic assistance can take two to three times longer than in the city. These reasons mean that rural dwellers need to be especially mindful of their property.

Thankfully, an array of safety solutions exist that will keep you safe and serene in your rural home.

1. Video surveillance—The must-have rural security feature

Relying strictly on standard door locks does not provide enough security in any region these days. The majority of burglaries occur from forced entry, and rural houses are targeted due to their seclusion; burglars have the advantage of having more time to break into a property due to the lack of neighbors and constant car traffic. How do you keep an eye on your property while you’re away? Consider video surveillance.

Many rural properties tend to be situated on acres of land with additional structures such as barns and sheds, so it’s important to have your eyes on your entire property at all times. Video surveillance is the best defense against potential threats since you can prepare yourself for whatever the cameras may see, as well as notify the proper authorities before things escalate.

Additionally, video surveillance is another tool to protect everything else that lives on your rural property. Video surveillance cameras installed around your property enables you to remotely access images from any smart phone, so you can quickly act on weather damage to property or unwelcome wild animals terrorizing your livestock.

2. Shine a light on intruders

When it comes to keeping your rural property safe, lighting came make a huge difference between keeping your house, equipment, or even livestock safe. When looking for a lighting system for your rural property, look for one that can be accessed from anywhere and is completely customizable.

Once you have a lighting system that fits your needs, you’ll need to consider placement. The main rule to follow in terms of lighting placement is to make sure you place motion-sensitive lights around the perimeter of your property, to spotlight every section. Even better, look for ways to integrate lighting as part of a smart home setup that you can control remotely.

Extra tip: Ensure that trees and shrubbery are cut back enough to not block light sources.

The vastness of rural properties contributes partially to making them an easy target; however, rural properties also suffer from a severe lack of artificial light at night. Smart lighting solutions aim to solve this problem. Simply put, burglars can’t stand lights, so having control of your entire property’s lighting system gives you a huge advantage. These systems can be programmed to turn on and off with the tap of a finger from any smart phone or computer.

3. Lock it up

Gone are the days of leaving your doors unlocked while you’re away. Even in rural areas, the more layers of security you add to your property, the safer you and your family stay. Technology has boosted security far beyond lock and key. Nowadays, smart door locks are a must for stopping burglars in their tracks. Having smart locks—such as those offered by ADT—installed on your doors gives you the ultimate control and peace of mind.

The features of a remote locking system go far beyond remotely locking and unlocking your doors. For example, you can create an emergency automation that immediately unlocks your doors in case of a fire, or lock the doors remotely in case someone forgets to lock them as they leave.

Rural living can be a wonderful and peaceful way to live, but does not mean that you are invulnerable to theft, vandalism, or break-ins. Not to mention the everyday inconveniences that might arise. Investing in the right security solution for your rural property is the best defense against potential dangers. With these various tools and tips in your arsenal, you won’t become just another statistic in the many cases of rural property theft.

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