Building Security Checklist
Building security is something most people consider at some point in their lives, whether they’re looking at the property from a business perspective or just as the home they want to keep safe and secure. It’s an important aspect of everyday life, and yet it’s something which many people feel uncertain about.
Finding the best ways to keep your building safe can be challenging, but there are quite a lot of things you can do to try and improve your security. Many may not apply to the particular building which you are looking at, but should point you in the right direction for making your space secure, and may highlight vulnerable areas which need your attention, or give you ideas of things to try.
Most criminals are looking for easy, quiet access to a property. One of the most obvious weak points in any building are the entryways, which means you ought to pay attention to securing these areas. Breaking a window is an extreme strategy which may attract attention; a burglar is much more likely to look for existing entry points which they can get through.
Doors and windows should all be shut and locked every day, with a recommendation of deadbolts for exterior doors. It’s also advisable to ensure door hinges are on the inside of the building to prevent the door from being lifted off.
If there are multiple keys to your building, you should make sure they are all accounted for, and you know who has access to them at any given time. Changing the locks is not a convenient step, but it should be taken if you suspect keys have gone missing or been passed into the wrong hands. You should also ensure that any ladders are securely stored to avoid presenting an opportunist with a way onto the roof or high windows.
Keeping your property very visible, both the exterior and interior, is a great way to deter unwelcome visitors. Thieves need cover in order to pass unnoticed, so one of the best ways to keep your property safe is to ensure it’s in an open space, with minimal hiding places for intruders.
Anyone noticing unusual activity will then be able to alert either you or the authorities, which means criminals are less likely to try their luck in the first place. Even if they see an opportunity, the chance that they will be noticed and later identified as a suspect may be enough to put them off.
Installing video cameras rather than relying on passers-by is one of the best ways to boost your visibility, and if you put them in obvious places, their presence will act as a deterrent in itself. No criminal will want to be caught on camera, especially with modern technology increasing the abilities of facial recognition software. Having cameras on your entrances/windows/vulnerable areas will help to increase your security and may help to track down the intruder if you do have a break in.
Another action to consider is leaving a light on inside the building overnight. This will make it difficult for thieves to ascertain whether the building is empty or not, and at what time the occupants leave on a normal day. Having a light on will also make it more obvious from the street if somebody is inside after hours, as they will be more visible.
This tip certainly works for residential properties as well as businesses; leaving a light on makes it harder for criminals to tell when the occupants have gone to bed or if they’re away, whereas a dark house presents a much more tempting target.
It’s important to think about your outdoor spaces as well as the indoor ones; they are the first part of your property which a potential criminal will come into contact with, so it’s worth paying attention to their aesthetic and security. How they first see the property may affect whether they see it as a target or not, so try to look for any areas which might create temptation for a potential thief.
Firstly, you should again try and increase your visibility, using cameras and removing cover such as bushes, trees, and any debris or large objects if possible. It’s worth keeping your outdoor space tidy, as it shows the property is regularly maintained and cared for, which suggests it has attention on it.
You should be particularly careful to remove any graffiti; graffiti in itself is a signal that unauthorised people can come up to your property and hang around as they please, which is not the message you want to send. Make sure any green spaces are kept well-weeded and grass neatly trimmed. Fix anything broken, and make the entryway a clear path, to discourage anyone from walking around the building looking for weak spots under the guise of being ‘lost.’
You should also ensure that outdoor spaces are as secure as possible, putting up fencing or walls where necessary, ascertaining that gates are in good condition and locked at night. Installing lighting, particularly motion-sensitive, is another way to deter potential criminals, as lights suddenly coming on will attract attention.
There are many things you can do to keep your property safe, and most of them are simple, reasonably inexpensive, effective measures which will help to ensure thieves don’t feel too tempted. Look for obvious weak points in your property, try to envisage how you would break in if you wanted to, and then attempt to address these issues however you can. Remember that if you do have a burglary, you need to look at how the thieves entered and what may have made you a target, and take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.