Keeping Facilities Secure During Shelter-in-Place
9 Ways To Secure Your Building During A Shutdown.
The recent COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have brought a lot of changes — including changes in criminal activity.
Take New York City, for example. As citizens kept away from work and off the streets, the number of violent crimes declined substantially. However, burglaries of unattended commercial properties saw a dramatic spike. Compared to the previous year, commercial burglaries jumped by 75% from late March through early April, while break-ins of supermarkets and bodegas increased by 400%.*
How Can You Keep Facilities Safe During A Shutdown?
Pandemics. Hurricanes. Floods and blizzards. Events that necessitate shutdowns make commercial properties more vulnerable to break-ins, lootings and vandalism. When your property is left unattended, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect your assets. Fortunately, there are many easy, effective and affordable things you can do.
- Tighten up approved access. During a shutdown, you might rethink how many employees have access to your property. Narrowing the field encourages people to comply with shelter-in-place orders. It can also minimize the potential danger to employees who enter the building on their own, should a break-in occur. In addition to allowing fewer people into the building, also tighten the screening process so anyone who does try to enter (including employees) will have to comply with extra security measures.
- Double-check fire and safety systems. Break-ins are often accompanied by acts of vandalism that can lead to potential fire or water damage. If a shutdown is imminent, be sure to have your fire alarms, smoke detectors and other security systems thoroughly checked.
- Monitor areas beyond your property. Shutdowns bring traffic to a halt. In areas such as warehouse districts, industrial parks and malls, almost any traffic may be suspect. If possible, monitor streets and parking lots near your property, as well as other areas outside your perimeter. If you have security personnel who monitor your facilities remotely, instruct them to pay extra attention to suspicious vehicles, and ask your local police if they can increase their drive-by activity.
In the event of a prolonged closure, you can also make temporary changes that provide further protection:
- Relocate high-value items. Consider moving things such as high-ticket retail items, on-sight servers, and hard-to-replace items to a guarded or off-site facility.
- Empty the safe. Transfer all contents to a secure, off-site area. Leave your safe door open to discourage anyone from stealing or damaging it.
- Reinforce easy areas-of-entry. Consider adding bars to windows and other areas that are vulnerable to break-in, or temporarily boarding them up.
- Reduce visibility. If intruders can easily see inside your facility, find ways to block, shade or otherwise reduce visibility.
- Light it up. Install additional exterior lights if needed. If appropriate, create the illusion of someone being present by putting some of your internal lights on a timer or motion-detection system.
People Are Your Most Important Asset.
Last but not least, reach out to other people. When a shutdown occurs, talk to other business owners in your building, development or street. Discuss strategies for keeping your properties secure, and make sure you have each other’s contact information in case of suspicious activity.
Also, consult with your security provider. A qualified security provider can help you review your systems and recommend ways to fortify your security for the duration of the shutdown.
Be Prepared. Call Paradyme.
Paradyme provides comprehensive security services for businesses throughout Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. For more information about how we can help you protect your facilities, assets and people, contact us today.