Unfortunately, property crime is a major challenge for property managers and rose in some locales in 2022. Indeed, retailers are closing down outlets in some areas due, at least in part, to shoplifting and other criminal activities. Fortunately, there are many steps property managers can take to increase security. Let’s explore some of the most effective methods.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
The security needs of a condo building in Hartford, Connecticut, will be different from the security needs of a factory in Detroit, Michigan. Indeed, risks and needs can vary greatly even among facilities in the same industry or even company. The threats faced by a Walmart in rural Arkansas will be different from a Walmart operating in the Chicago suburbs.
Given this, you’ll want to conduct a thorough review of the risks faced at a specific property. With a physical security risk assessment, you will adopt a systemic approach to identifying and then evaluating potential vulnerabilities and threats. This can include identifying entrances, including not just the doors that employees or guests enter through, but also windows and other openings that could let criminals in.
Not sure how to go about conducting such an assessment? This simple six-step process will help you get started:
1. Define the Scope and Objectives- You can look at things like the boundaries of your building, critical assets (i.e. machinery, cars), and the security standards of your industry. Also, consider how often you’ll need to reevaluate security to stay ahead of the challenges.
2. Identify Threats and Vulnerabilities- Threats include not just criminal activities, but also natural disasters. Also consider insiders and sabotage, among other things.
3. Evaluate the Risks and Impacts- Risk refers to the likelihood that a specific vulnerability will be exploited. Impact measures the degree of loss or damage that would occur if you’re targeted.
4. Analyze Existing Security Measures- You’ll already have security measures in place, most likely, even if those measures are simply locked doors. It’s wise to closely evaluate your current security setup.
5. Draw Up Recommendations- Once you have a grasp of the current situation, you can look for ways to improve security, such as installing cameras or hiring armed security guards.
6. Measure Results- After you implement recommendations, you’ll want to monitor for any results or changes. Then you can document the trends and present them to relevant stakeholders.
Install Plenty of Cameras
Cameras can be a powerful deterrent for criminals. Thieves look for easy targets and many would prefer not to be recorded. By setting up cameras, you may be able to discourage criminals from targeting your property. At least some of the cameras should be highly visible. This will signify to criminals that you’re keeping an eye out.
Put Up Security Signage
Another way to deter potential criminals is to put up signs warning that you are monitoring a building, that security systems are in place, and that the police will be summoned in the event of suspicious activities. You might also mention that security guards are on patrol.
Hire Security Guards
Cameras and other pieces of tech can certainly be an effective deterrence. However, security guards are perhaps the best form of deterrence. This assumes that the security guards are well-trained and deployed effectively. It’s also a good idea to consider arming your security guards. Thankfully, in many states, security guards can be trained and licensed to carry pistols and other weapons.
Let’s say you’re managing security for a warehouse in Connecticut, for example. Your security guards could apply for a CT pistol permit. With a pistol permit for blue card in CT, your guards will legally be able to carry pistols. With the right permits, guards can also carry long guns. Many other states, such as Florida and Washington, also allow security guards to carry guns. The licensing and training requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Threats evolve over time. Security technology and legal frameworks can also change as the years go by. When addressing security issues, it’s smart to be proactive and to stay apprised of any developments that could impact security. By being proactive, you can continuously minimize the risks your properties are exposed to.