Overview of the Property Security Industry
The security industry encompasses firms that sell many physical security products and services to protect buildings and property. High crime rates in residential or commercial areas create strong demand for security equipment.
Thieves tend to target industrial warehouses and buildings containing expensive equipment that is readily saleable. Thieves will find different ways to access buildings and target specific property. For example computer hard drives make an attractive target due to their portability. The consequent damage done to buildings, and computers to get to the hard drives is immense.
Many property insurers place cover stipulations on policyholders to mitigate risk. For example, the outside security may need to be improved on an outside fire escapes of an office block creates a possible security vulnerability.
After a burglary, equipment may be replaced, but the physical security of a building may not have been upgraded, making the office an easy target for a second time. Employing security firms after a theft can be useful. On site security guards and patrols can be used to deter would-be thieves. Guards may be used as a temporary measure, whilst the physical security of a building is improved or rectified.
There are many products to help companies improve the physical security of a business premises. For example, windows and doors can be upgraded by installing better mortise locks that can not so readily be forced from the outside. Alarm systems have anti-tampering features and can also detect when a lock is tampered with. Some alarm systems detect the presence of a person and can only be deactivated with an alarm code or key.
Alarm systems that have audible warnings tend to deter and frighten off the opportunist thief. Better quality alarms may link to an offsite security firm manned twenty four hours a day, or connected directly to a manned police station. These alarms will trigger a series of events designed to capture those that have broken in to the premises. Depending upon the response time of the security firm, the alarms may give an audible warning.
A commercial organisation should have a risk assessment and survey carried out of its business premises. In some cases, the insurance company will carry out the survey. The surveyor will make recommendations as to what physical security is required. Insurance cover may only be granted if specific improvements are implemented. Some building insurance companies will offer premium discounts for better security both for commercial property or in the domestic home insurance market.
The aim of the security industry is also concerned with keeping thieves and criminals away from premises in the first place, making a building too difficult to enter. If criminals do enter the building, then security measures can be taken to capture the thieves. Digital devices such as cameras can record criminals and these recordings may be used in evidence against the criminals.
With the rise in the price for certain items, there is usually a direct correlation with the rise in thefts for those items. For example, as the price of copper rose, there was a rise in the number of thefts of copper. Thefts of lead still occurs on a frequent basis. Lead is used on roofs and monuments, and can be a temptation for thieves believing that churches and communal areas that have lead on their buildings are an easy target. Specialist water marking products can be purchased to help track down items that are stolen.
Domestic security is important in our own homes, in order for insurance cover to be effective it is common in policies that “forcible and violent entry or exit” has to have been used in a burglary. Therefore, if you leave a window open or not locked with a key, it can be too much of a temptation for a passing burglar. As a homeowner, you may not be covered with your home insurance policy if doors or windows do not lock with keys or if a window or door has been left open.
There are other ways that you can protect your physical belongings, perhaps using a safe that is well hidden in the home or office, and that has been expertly attached to the fabric of the building so that it is not easily removed. Perimeter security is another way to deter opportunistic thieves, such as fences, walls, lockable gates and gates on time locks. Clear indicators that your home is protected by security cameras or by alarms is another deterrent. Schools will often advertise whom their security is provided by and whether on site patrols are in place.