Businesses have a duty to exercise sensible care in order to protect against reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct. While the requirements vary, neglecting to fulfill them in any territory can make a business vulnerable to premises security suits, in addition to losses incurred from crime such as theft, burglaries, and destruction of property. Typically, these damages are awarded through citing earlier, similar incidents of crime, citing relevant crime information and statistics for the neighborhood or type of business, citing past patron complaints, or citing improvements recommended by the authorities. There are many resources accessible to businesses making it easy to avoid these incidents. Oftentimes, however, business owners still fail to take proactive measures until it is too late.
One typical surveillance measure is to install lighting systems in order to increase property visibility. This increases the chance of an intruder being detected and enhances the safety of customers and employees entering and leaving the facility after dark. Lighting is especially useful when used with CCTV cameras, increasing their effectiveness in low-visibility situations. In effect, no one should be able to access your property without first being seen by employees or on camera.
Here are some ways you can improve your current lighting systems:
- Avoid glare affecting the view of a guard, passing traffic, or nearby buildings; instead, direct it at intruders.
- Use motion detectors or timed lighting systems, and install enough lights so the outage of one does not create a vulnerability in surveillance.
- Provide back-up illumination in the event of a power failure.
Alarm Systems and Surveillance Cameras
Crime can also be deterred through installing a sufficient burglar alarm system, also called an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). One of the most popular features of any security system is the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). CCTVs typically have a monitor and a television camera, each camera requiring its own power supply, and are often used in parking garages, warehouses, convenience stores, and office buildings for purposes such as visitor identification, detection of criminal activity and employee theft, surveillance on valuable items, and virtual security escorts.
By recording hard video evidence, CCTV can be imperative in prosecuting criminals and recovering stolen merchandise. However, the live television feeds must be consistently monitored, or else you may still be liable, making it important to establish a written policy regarding response, recording, monitoring, storage of tapes, and incident documentation.
Below are some types of burglary alarm systems often used in businesses:
- Central station systems: When an alarm goes off, this system automatically transmits a signal to a central station with trained personnel. The system obtains the premise information, dispatches alarm investigators and calls the police for alarm incident investigation, then notifies the predetermined point of contact.
- Mercantile systems: This system activates an alarm both inside and outside the premises via electrical protection circuits and is controlled by the property owner.
- Proprietary burglar alarm systems: This system is similar to a central station alarm, but the personnel instead report to the property owner.
Each business has different legislature, regulations, and needs to be considered when selecting security systems. However, through installing and maintaining proper surveillance measures, accidents, crime, and losses can be significantly reduced.