When you first think of keeping your barn office safe, you might only assume that you need to keep it safe from burglars. However, this is not the only thing you must keep it safe from. Many other potential dangers can be found in your barn that should be taken into consideration. Here are my top 5 tips to keeping your barn and barn office safe.
1. Locking filing cabinet
All of us who have barns know how easy it is to not keep the office as organized as it should be. I have realized that I tend to leave a lot of sensitive information out in my office, thinking no one will go into the office and possibly find this information. Not only is this information our sensitive information, but we also usually keep other people's personal information in the office as well. For example, all of our boarding and leasing agreements have our customer's information on them including their address and phone number. It is our responsibility to keep this information safe by keeping it in a locked fire-proof filing cabinet.
2. Dedicated office space
In our barn, it has taken a lot of work, but we have solely dedicated our office to only holding office-type material. It was very easy for me to put drying blankets and tack that needed to be cleaned in the office to help remind me to do things. However, what I have found is that it is much more beneficial and safe to keep a whiteboard in my office with a list of my to-do's so I have one place to look and my office stays uncluttered.
3. Keep it clean
Along the lines of keeping only office-related items in the office, keeping the office clean will help you keep everything organized and easy to find. Nothing is more embarassing and unprofessional then when someone unexpectedly drops by your barn wanting to board their horse there and you have to move a pile of papers so they can sit at your desk to sign the paperwork.
4. Video cameras
Having video cameras taking constant footage of your barn office and tackroom can be lifesavers for you and your boarders. Intentional and accidental theft happens extremely often in barn offices and tackrooms. These spaces are left unsupervised more often then not while lessons are being given, feedings are done, etc. Your belongings should be labeled if possible, but having video footage to view is a sure way to monitor yours and your boarders belongings to make sure everything is as safe as possible.
5. Security system
We chose to install a Smith security system in our barn, and we wish we would have done this a long time ago. They are a local provider so we get excellent, personal customer service every time we call for any reason. We chose a smart system that allows us to view our video cameras from any mobile device, so even while I am teaching lessons or feeding the horses, I can view those video cameras from my Iphone on my hip. I can also turn on the lights in the barn from my wireless device before I arrive in the morning so I don't have to search for the switch in the pitch black of early morning. It is the best decision we could have made for our business.