Is Your Building as Secure as It Could Be?
Criminals have become so sophisticated that business owners today need to always be thinking about ways to better protect their facilities. They have learned to circumvent conventional security systems by entering through adjacent buildings, drywall or concrete walls, roofs, and even HVAC systems. Increasingly, this is how criminals are entering their targets because they know there are probably contacts on the doors and windows. How secure is your building? Use this guide to rate your building security.
And remember, the criminal is not always the menacing, shadowy figure who comes around after dark. He is often well dressed, in suit and tie, and totally unsuspected. You need to be ready for both kinds of danger. In addition to the threat of having valuable items taken – cash, jewelry, electronics – potentially more damaging is the loss sustained from the theft of computers, sensitive documents from file cabinets, or any other type of intellectual property. Your security needs break down into two categories.
Office Hours: Regulate Access to Your Facility
During business hours, multi-tenant office buildings can be susceptible to danger. Unauthorized individuals are often free to enter and roam unabated. Fortunately, businesses are beginning to take action. Since the tragedy of 9/11, the largest emphasis for security purchases has been for access control, or “keyless” door entry solutions, representing over one-third of all investments made. ID Badges, Keyfobs, Access Cards, and other technologies can now be integrated with a building’s alarm systems, replacing the lock and key. Many have turned to the benefits of “keyless door entry” to:
- Limit access to the building
- Reduce employee-caused false alarms
- Protect sensitive areas
- Decrease liability and risk
- Provide detailed entry and exit reports
- Reduce the risk of workplace violence
- Reduce the need for on-site security personnel
- Allow temporary access by visitors
- Eliminate the cost of re-keying or changing locks
The best way to safeguard against possible crime is to carefully regulate access to your facility with access control solutions during business hours and to protect it after-hours with a proven alarm system.
After Hours: Conventional Alarm Systems vs. Sonitrol Impact-Activated Audio Alarm System
Make no mistake, not all alarms are the same. There are conventional, motion-based alarms; and there are impact-activated audio alarms from Sonitrol. The distinction is clear. Conventional security systems are motion-based, provide only partial coverage, and can be easily circumvented by criminals who have learned to test the placement and vulnerabilities of alarm sensors. If they trip a sensor, the alarm screams and they run away, knowing it can take the police up to an hour to respond. Next time, they know to try another point of entry.
Now consider that 98% of all alarms are false. Yes, you read that right – 98%. If you’re car started 2% of the time, how optimistic would you be that it would start each morning? Well, the police know that there is only a 2% chance that the alarm they are responding to is a real alarm. And odds are, by the time they do respond, the perpetrators are long gone because the sound of the alarm has warned them off. Because police responsibilities have expanded so dramatically since 9/11, good law enforcement dictates that they can not give high priority to an alarm with a 98% probability of being false.
But Sonitrol alarms are different. First of all, they are silent, so a criminal has no idea the alarm was even triggered. When a Sonitrol audio-based alarm is triggered, trained Sonitrol Monitoring professionals at a Central Station actually listen in to verify the nature of the event. They can immediately verify whether a break-in is in progress, or whether a false alarm has sounded. If it is a real break-in, we immediately dispatch police. If the alarm is false, we reset the system without bothering you or the police. That is why Sonitrol has a very low false alarm rate, and a very high apprehension rate – 155,000 since 1977 and counting.
Of the 175,000 apprehensions Sonitrol has made:
- 35% came through the door, and 26% came through the window.
- 25% of the entries were unconventional, coming in through the wall, ceiling, HVAC system, or some other entry point. The numbers of unconventional entries have risen dramatically over the last ten years.
- 14% of our apprehensions never gained entry, which means Sonitrol heard them making noises outside and got to them before they could do any real damage.
With Sonitrol, it doesn’t matter how they try to get in. Our coverage is volumetric – wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling – and so designed for any possible point of entry.
Police give Sonitrol alarms top priority because Sonitrol can not only verify that a break-in is in progress, but Sonitrol can also relay information to responding police, such as where the perpetrators broke in, where they are currently inside the building, and sometimes, even their names. With Sonitrol alarms, there is literally no place for the criminal to hide.
Perimeter Security – Your First Line of Protection
As outlined above, selecting the right security solution is critical to protecting your facility. But let’s face it; you’d rather not ever have to test the system. The following is a list of crime prevention strategies designed to help make your building and grounds less attractive to criminals, and therefore less vulnerable to crime, theft and vandalism.
Around your building
- Avoid blind spots provided by doorways, fences, support buildings and landscaping.
- Place mechanical or electrical devices, such as meters, transformers, etc., in lockable recessed vaults or within the building.
- Limit roof and upper-floor access. Items to consider: drainpipes, window frames, storage units, decorative ledges, dumpsters, vehicles and walkway covers.
- Keep trees at least 10 feet from buildings to prevent window and roof access.
- Trim trees to increase visibility, keeping lower limbs eight to nine feet above ground.
- Limit shrubs to low ground cover and group plants together. Hedging along walks helps to channel pedestrian traffic.
Fencing and Gates
- Except for special areas such as utility locations and parking lots, use fencing and gates with discretion.
- Use chain-link fencing to maintain visibility.
- Surround all construction near facilities with high fences and secured gates.
- Top chain-linked fencing adjacent to buildings with barbed wire.
- Secure all gates with heavy-duty padlocks.
- Place wall-mounted or freestanding lights 12-14 feet above the ground.
- Direct lighting at the facility if the building is patrolled from the exterior.
- Light the area around the facility if the buildings are patrolled from within.
- Use effective lighting at all entries.
Sonitrol Chicagoland West
1275 West Roosevelt Road Suite 123
West Chicago, IL 60185-4816
Commercial security systems for St Charles, Aurora, Batavia, Elgin, Carol Stream, and more.