Public Safety at Your Property!
Updated: Aug 22
For any kind of commercial investment, such as an apartment full of tenants and owner-occupiers, or a light industrial complex full of small businesses, both tenants and owners have a mutual responsibility to ensure a safe environment that promotes both peace. mind and business as usual. Here are some tips you can act on now to keep your commercial property safe.
You may be 20 feet away from your vehicle when you're working at your desk, but property crimes are crimes of opportunity and criminals don't like to work, so don't make it easy for them to loot your vehicle by leaving it unlocked — or leaving valuables in plain sight, even when locked car. Additionally, lock home and office doors and use security locks on windows that allow them to be opened, but not too wide. Close curtains and blinds on windows when the sun goes down and when they are unoccupied - don't announce your absence by leaving your spaces exposed.
Light it up!
Owners should ensure adequate lighting of the parking facility, whether it is a parking structure, individual garages, carports or reserved parking spaces. Injuries caused by poor lighting can lead to liability issues and expensive legal troubles. Security lights with motion detectors should be installed at the entrance to each unit. It saves energy and alerts residents and tenants when someone is in the immediate vicinity. These lights are generally hardwired into the building's electrical system, but portable sensor lights can be added to the perimeter of the building to better illuminate dark areas and those obstructed by vegetation to deter night time intruders.
Stairs and walkways
These should be kept a safe distance away from debris and obstructions such as lawn care equipment. Pavement cement in poor condition can be a tripping hazard, leading to injury and costly legal consequences. If sidewalks have stepped steps, install photosensor marker lights at the edges that capture solar energy during the day to provide illumination at night.
There are many approaches to this issue depending on the structure of the complex, the costs involved and the level of protection required. Some apartments and industrial parks prohibit additional locks on doors that can prevent landlords from entering a tenant's home or office in an emergency. Some abandoned communities go the extra mile and hire staff to regularly patrol the area. Most small businesses have electronic security systems that must be activated and deactivated and automatically notify local first responders in the event of a breach. Whether you are a renter or owner, make sure that the terms and conditions of the security system are set out in your lease agreement. Also, be sure to put up window stickers and lawn markers to warn potential trespassers of the risk they would be taking. Again, most property crimes are crimes of opportunity, so don't make the criminal's job easier by not using simple deterrents.
Get to know your neighbors. Know their operating hours. Pay attention to the vehicles that regularly park in the parking lot. If someone seems out of place, acting lost, or spending an unreasonable amount of time on the property without entering a unit or doing business, consider contacting the authorities. Always be careful when approaching such people to interrogate them, but be aware of their presence to determine if they really belong in the facility.
In short, security is everyone's business. Regardless of your monetary investment, you cannot put a price on a safe workplace and a safe place to live.
A Cincinnati commercial property inspection, from LiteHouse Commercial, can help you determine steps to increase security at your property.