Crime Prevention for Your Building
This blog post offers methods of crime prevention that building owners and property managers can implement in order to increase the safety of their properties as well as their tenants and residents.
Crime is a scary yet realistic possibility within the properties that you manage. Every new or existing building, whether residential or commercial, should incorporate some aspects of crime prevention, as your occupants need and deserve to feel safe in as they carry out their daily obligations. In the past, property owners have not always paid as much attention to security concerns as they should during both development and management processes. This is now changing as property owners are rightfully considering security features in buildings and the local property manager is now taking steps towards crime control in buildings. Below are some techniques that those responsible for properties can utilize to further crime prevention initiatives.
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Prevention of crime through environmental design
Crime Protection Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a concept that uses physical environment for protection against crime and is great option for those still in the planning phases with their buildings. The aim of this concept is to reduce chances of crimes to occur within a building by taking advantage of physical features. Some examples of this include allowing for increased visibility of potential criminal actions within the building via windows facing public roads/sidewalks, leaving blinds open, etc.; implementing access control to the building using physical features; and more.
The process involves use of designs that offer building protection and crime prevention but without resorting to prison camp type of approach. This approach is cost effective because hardware applications are incorporated during the construction of the property and instead of at a future date.
Zoning of different sections of a property
Also part of the building planning process, modern property designs looking to incorporate crime prevention often adopt the defensible space concept. Here, an area is divided into smaller zones that are clearly defined. The zones then become points of focus in implementing the CPTED concept. The various zones are then defined as being private, public and semi-private. This way, everyone knows who is supposed to be at which zones at any time.
Types of zones
1. Public zones
Public zones are ideally accessible by any person and are considered the least secure zones. Such areas often lack controlled access and are accessible to members of the public. They offer very little opportunity for close surveillance.
2. Private zones
Private zones have restricted access where access is controlled and limited to select individuals. A good example is a private residence. A barrier is usually erected to divide the various zones.
3. Semi-private zones
The semi-private zones generally provide a buffer between the private and public zones. They usually serve as common areas such as the laundry area, interior courtyard and so on. While they can be accessed by members of the public, they are separate from the public areas. They also enhance building protection.
It is advisable to perform background checks to screen those who will occupy your property in order to get a better understanding of who they actually are. Some good areas to check out include police, court and credit records. Weeding out elements found to be complacent or non compliant helps improve the security of members.This can help to get rid of criminal or rogue elements. It also gives peace of mind to new and current occupants.
You should educate your occupants on issues about their security and prevention of crime. Residents should be reminded of the various security tips and all steps they can take to keep themselves and their spaces safe. You may initially think this does not fall in your wheelhouse, but ultimately, you are liable for the safety of your occupants. Additionally, the more that your occupants know about preventing crime and handling crime in the event that it occurs, the safer your building remains as a whole.
Any building staff must be easily identified. This means use of uniforms, photo ID badges and access cards. This is especially important for maintenance workers. Intruders often use security access points and pose as building staff to get to areas that they desire to get to.
Partnering with the police
Another important step is to partner with the police. Be sure to ensure that you have constant interactions and consultations with the local police. This will allow police to become familiar with your property and gives you the opportunity to plan for quick resolutions in the event of criminal activity.
These are some of the many measures that property managers and building owners can take to actively do their part to fight against unnecessary crime and therefore promote protection of their property and its occupants. To learn more about how Kings III can assist in property crime prevention and crime response, visit www.kingsiii.com.
Kings III Emergency Communications, a privately-owned emergency help phone-monitoring company based in Coppell, was honored to be recognized by its employees and The Dallas Morning News by making the daily newspaper’s Top 100 Places to Work list, falling in at 26th in the midsize companies category.
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