Business Property Security
by Ron Kurtus (revised 29 January 2012)
There are people who may want to damage or set fire to a company's building. There are others who may want to steal or damage equipment inside the building.
This wide range of threats requires a number of security measures. Means must be in place to discourage damage or robbery and to provide a rapid response to any attack. In some cases, a preemptive actions can prevent an attack.
Questions you may have include:
- What are the reasons a person would damage or rob a business building?
- How can damage or robbery be discouraged?
- What type of rapid response is possible?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Reasons for attack
Knowing the motivations of the criminally-minded person who may attack your company property is important in preparing your defenses for such an attack.
Reasons a person would damage the exterior of a business building are somewhat different than the motivation for stealing or damaging items inside the building. The different motivations lead to different security measures.
Reasons a person would damage the exterior of a business building could be for financial gain, revenge, to promote a cause, or for thrills.
Someone might try to damage a company's building or even set it on fire for financial gain. This could be an unethical competitor or some crime organization seeking to extort money. It also could be done to get insurance money.
A disgruntled former employee may seek revenge on a company by damaging its property.
Promote a cause
Groups promoting a political, religious or environmental cause may protest against a company by damaging or burning its property.
Some people will cause damage to building just for a mindless thrill.
The reason a person would steal or damage items inside a building is usually for financial gain, but sometimes for revenge or to promote a cause.
Sometimes a robber may break into a business building to steal valuable property or money. Equipment taken is later sold.
An employee of a company may steal money from other employees or the company. He may also take property for his own financial gain.
A disgruntled employee may damage equipment as an act of revenge against the company.
An external person or an employee may be actually working for another agency and attempt to steal classified information from the company or organization. This information may be company strategies or secret product plans. In the case of defense contractors or government agencies, it may be related to National defense.
The motivation for such a person is to promote a cause.
Discouraging the criminal
There must be several strategies for discouraging someone from damaging a business building, from internal vandalism of equipment, from breaking into a building to steal things, and from theft by employees.
Also, knowing that you may be under attack is important is planning methods to discourage the criminal.
Standard security methods will discourage many cases of people wanting to vandalize or damage a building, but it is often difficult to prevent a determined person from doing damage.
Small companies can have their buildings well-lit at night and perhaps have security guards to check the grounds.
Fence and guards
Larger companies will fence off their area and have guards to monitor entry into the area.
A determined person could still climb a fence or do damage when a guard wasn't present. Also, a terrorist might sacrifice his life for his cause be driving a truck full of explosives or flying an aircraft into the building.
Discouraging a person from breaking into a building and stealing things after business hours means you must make it as difficult as possible, as well as to make the person aware that the chances of getting caught are high.
Lock the doors
Certainly, doors and windows should be locked and not easily broken.
The obvious presence of a security guard is good to discourage robbery. Companies that have their buildings fenced off should have guards both at the gate and in the buildings.
Some facilities use guard dogs to keep out intruders. Junk yards are known to have especially mean dogs protecting the premises. Posting notices that there are guard dogs is necessary to make sure the potential robber knows that fact.
One small store owner posted a sign that he let his pet python loose in the building. He never had problems with burglars.
Theft or internal vandalism
Dishonest employees may steal from a business. Also, a disgruntled employee may do vandalism to get revenge on a company.
Ways to discourage internal theft include:
- Do background checks on all employees
- Warn employees to protect their personal belongings
- Audit and monitor equipment, so you know what you have
- Secure equipment so it is not easy to take
- Secure areas with critical equipment
- Monitor areas and activities
- Check people as they leave the building
Although it is often difficult to tell when an employee may be angry enough to do damage, monitoring critical equipment with security guards, employees or closed circuit TV (CCTV) can discourage such vandalism.
Being able to respond rapidly to someone damaging a building, breaking in to steal or doing other mischief is important in minimizing the damage, as well to possibly catching the perpetrator in the act.
An alarm system can alert authorities or security guards of trouble. They can then respond rapidly to stop the attack.
- Motion or heat detectors can tell if someone is an an area where no one should be
- Alarms can go off if a door or window is opened or broken into
- Fire alarms can alert people to fire
Security guards can spot problems and attacks while on their tours or through monitoring by CCTV. They can then quickly respond.
People who may try to damage or set fire to a company's building or steal or damage equipment inside the building can be motivated by money, revenge or to promote a cause. Obvious placement of guard and other measure can discourage these threats. Rapid response through alarm systems can also minimize the attack.
Know your business well
Resources and references
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