Getting down & Dirty-Part 1
No this isn’t about porn or mud wrestling. What I’m going to discuss is a security survey that a non-security person can conduct to ensure that their facility is as safe and secure as it can be.
For the non-security person, and many in security if they’ve never been trained, to accomplish a survey it’s not that hard, but it can get a tad complicated and time consuming with everything you have to consider. Additionally, if you don’t own the building and you’re leasing space it can get even more convoluted because of dealing with the property owner.
Many commercial owners/brokers are unable or unwilling to commit the resources it takes to make their space secure because they want to make it as inviting, and profitable, as possible.
Many small business owners don’t concern themselves with the security aspects of where they are going to locate their store. The space is cost effective, the traffic is good, and there are other stores that attract customers.
But before you sign the paperwork, there are a few security items you need to consider. And if you do these things and talk to other shop owners then you may avoid trouble that could force you out of business. Which, of course, is never the option you want.
All business owners need to conduct a Down & Dirty (DnD) survey, even if you’re not a security professional. This is one that isn’t that involve. And consequently, it doesn’t cover everything, just the external basics.
The first thing you have to think about is the amount of crime in the area. If you locate a car dealership in an area known for car thefts and burglaries and not with a lot of security, it may not be a good idea to locate there. Likewise, if the location is high on muggings & assaults having a store with a lot of foot traffic… And it’s unlikely that your broker or agent will tell you the absolute truth about crime in this location.
In larger cities they have programs that allow you to look up and see the crime stats for certain neighborhoods or zip codes. If they don’t then you will have to do your own research. It can get time consuming and labor intensive and you may have to pay for it. But it may be worth it in the long run.
Parking Lot & Landscaping:
#2 is to take a look at the landscaping and parking lot. Are there any places for people to hide? Does the landscaping allow you to observe what activity occurs in AND around the parking lot and the entrance to your store? Think like the criminal who wants to rob you or customers. Does the parking lot give them opportunities to hide and waylay you?
You have to ensure that the bushes are neatly trimmed and only waist high so as to keep those criminals from hiding to do harm to anybody. This also goes for planters and other ornamentation around the area.
Remember to check on the outside lighting as well. You must ensure that the lighting is adequate to observe activity in and around the parking lot, the entrance to your business, and your back door.
If there are lights that are not working properly make sure that they are replaced before you sign, both inside and outside. While speaking of lighting you need to remember the whiter the light the darker and deeper the shadows. In other words just because it’s as bright as an athletic stadium doesn’t mean its safe.
Burned out lights are not very efficient or effective in having a secure parking lot. You have to have them replaced as soon as possible. If anyone reports that the lighting is burned out or dimming you need to contact the property owner and have them replaced.
By not replacing the lighting, the property owner, and yourself if it’s not reported, is inviting crime. And like vandalism, if it isn’t replaced, you will have criminal activity that chases away the customers you need and renters they want.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear