It seems certain kinds of buildings are just magnets for vandalism, thefts and burglaries.
Gated communities, shopping centers, and large department stores have traditionally been plagued with these crimes. More recently, however, office buildings and small businesses seem to be increasingly targeted for break-ins. This may be because the assumption is made that a smaller office building or any smaller business would not be secure or protected, and criminals may believe it will be easier to “hit and run” without tripping alarms or encountering guards.
There are many responsibilities to running a business or managing an office building, and the increasing crime rate adds another responsibility: providing security to employees, their belongings, and the equipment and supplies of the business.
Basic Office Building Security
There are basically two ways to provide protection for any business or building, and that is with technology, as in alarm systems, cameras, etc., or with personnel who literally “stand guard” over the premises. Within those two ideas, there are many different ways to accomplish the desired security. The decision will largely depend on the type of building, size and budget of the business, and whether employees’ safety needs to be safeguarded.
- Do you have employees who work late in the evening and must cross a dark parking lot to go home? If so, hiring security personnel may be necessary, at least for the hours after dark and until the last employee is safely in their vehicle.
- Depending on the area and location of the building, the employees’ vehicles may also need to be guarded, or kept in a secured parking lot to prevent vandalism.
You may be held responsible if employees suffer loss by theft while they are on the job. Worse yet, you would not want an employee to be mugged or injured in an attack in the parking lot.
At the very least, if a small business cannot afford to hire personnel for building security, steps should be taken to ensure no-one works alone at night, especially female employees, buildings and parking lots are well lighted, and shrubs and trees kept to a minimum, as you do not want to provide hiding places for people with mischief in mind.
There is so much technology available now, that almost any business can provide building security for employees and equipment. Perhaps in the case of a small business, equipment such as turnstiles, metal detectors and X-ray machines would not be practical, but there are many less expensive options. Most people, when building security is mentioned, would think of video cameras, and that is certainly one of the prime uses of technology, and the very least one can do to help prevent crime, no matter how small or large the business.
Inexpensive Building Security Systems for the Small Business
- A monitored alarm system will contact a call center if the alarm is triggered, and the call center will then contact the police. There is a drawback to this system since it depends on outside phone lines which can be cut before the perpetrator breaks into the building. Even if that does not happen, and the call center contacts police quickly, there will be time for items to be removed, or damage done before the police arrive.
- An unmonitored system sets off an alarm inside and outside when it is triggered, and can come complete with flashing or steady floodlights to call even more attention to the situation. This usually would have the advantage of scaring off the burglars before much damage could be done, or loss could occur. This system has the added advantage of not incurring fees for monitoring.
- A wireless alarm system can be purchased at a hardware store, and is easy to install. It operates with cameras, sensors and motion detectors, and can also have an alarm and flashing lights included. This system is relatively inexpensive, does not require professional installation, and may be perfect for the small business, at least as a starter system.
- There is a system designed for the outside of buildings, incorporating motion detection with lights that come on and a loud alarm that sounds when a particular motion is detected. For instance, if someone just walks down the sidewalk, the system will not be triggered, but if a different path is taken, such as someone approaching a window or door, this will trigger the alarm. The security element it provides depends on the would-be thief or vandal being startled into leaving the area before doing any outside damage, getting inside, or removing any property.
As with any other business decision, the more research that is done and the more information available, the easier it will be to arrive at the right conclusion and obtain the best system to get the job done.
Choose What is Best for Your Business
Whether you decide on a combination of hiring security personnel for a few evening hours and supplement this protection by using an inexpensive alarm system, or choose a top-of-the-line system, the important thing is to secure the building and the equipment, and maintain protection for employees and their property.
- Talk to professionals who sell or install the alarm systems, as they will have all the facts you need, including the various prices.
- You can talk to security personnel, who are often familiar with alarm systems.
- Police officers may also be another source of information, and may even be able to tell you the response time of monitored systems.
- The internet is a valuable resource tool and can provide almost anything you would want to know about the different systems and technology available.
The more information you have, the better decision you can make in providing building security for your business or office building.