Common sense can help prevent senseless acts of destruction
When owning and operating a business, there are certain events you hope never occur, yet you plan for nonetheless. Storm damage. A lawsuit. Robbery. Even a cyber-attack. Vandalism, though, is usually one of those things that’s not thoroughly considered until it actually happens. The willful destruction or defacement of property is usually done for no reason other than to do something malicious.
Vandalism is more than a headache for the owner
Finding a reason for vandalism – from bored youth to a disgruntled employee, customer, or protestor – does little to ease the business owner’s headache. In fact, in addition to being senseless, vandalism’s consequences can be tremendous.
Beyond the expense of repairs, vandalism can result in the disruption of business and lost sales. If not repaired or cleaned up immediately, it can tarnish an organization’s image, as well as increase its chances of being a target for future crime. Fortunately, there are a few proactive steps that can help protect your business.
1. Assess current security and make appropriate updates
The first step, naturally, is to assess your current security system. With each passing year, there are technological advances that are changing the game for business owners.
At its best, security should be considered as a series of concentric rings, moving from the perimeter to inside locations. In the case of preventing vandalism, perimeter security should be bolstered by:
- HD surveillance cameras with night vision capabilities, as well as motion detectors that will alert someone monitoring the feed that an intruder is present;
- Motion lights that illuminate vulnerable areas;
- Remote speakers to verbally alert the intruder that they’ve been spotted and should leave immediately;
- A managed security service to remotely monitor the feeds.
Managed monitoring services and adequate cameras are extremely effective at preventing vandalism, especially when they are paired with advanced analytics software and remote speakers. The software can often identify suspicious activity before vandalism occurs and direct the attention of monitoring personnel to the camera feed; remote speakers (also known as “camera voice downs”) can then be used to warn the trespasser to leave the property.
2. Landscaping and lighting as a deterrent
Walk the perimeter of your property to look for any weak areas and make a list of possible fixes, such as planting thorny shrubs to prevent vandals from reaching a vulnerable area.
Next, take that same walk at night. What looks safe during the day may actually provide cover for vandals. Pay attention to dark areas that need more lighting, as well as the shadows cast by current lighting. For example, removing foliage from certain areas or fencing off partially enclosed spaces can remove a spot for an intruder to hide while increasing the surveillance power of nearby cameras.
3. Upgrade with new building materials
As with surveillance equipment, technology has had an impact on construction materials. Many construction materials are available to deter vandals, including:
- Impact glass for windows and doors;
- Anti-climb barriers; and
- Anti-graffiti and anti-climb paints.
4. Work with the local authorities
If your property has been vandalized, notify the police and provide any information that can help in the investigation. Inform them of your security measures and provide any images garnered from your surveillance system. In addition, share your experience with neighboring businesses so they too can employ security measures and work with police.
5. Plan for local events, including periods of unrest or major protests
Vandalism in urban areas is often tied to periods of unrest, including large protests that get out of control. Protecting a facility in these circumstances is difficult but not impossible. The installation of impact glass is an essential, proactive step that pays dividends at all times. And in the case of an event like a major protest by a group with a history of destruction, urban sites can harden themselves as a target by placing temporary barriers that stand off crowds from the face of the building and/or adding security guards to act as a deterrent. Surveillance cameras are of course essential in deterring some vandals, as well as for identifying individuals who do attempt to commit vandalism. And keeping a close eye on the premises with surveillance and remote monitoring will help direct law enforcement to the premises before any damage gets out of hand.
Work with security experts
POM Technologies is in the business of securing your business. Our team of professionals can help guide you in creating a site-specific, functional, and effective security solution for your property. For a free consultation, contact us today at 212.688.2767 or complete our online form.
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