The Three Rings of Security
If you have property, you have a theft or burglary exposure. Depending on the values involved, the security protection you need may vary. We encourage you to think of premises security as a three-ring process. By evaluating the Perimeter, the Building and Articles, you can effectively evaluate your protection and select cost effective methods.
The first circle to consider is the perimeter of your property. This evaluation should start at the property line. What level of access control do you have to prevent access to your site?
Do you have no trespassing signs posted to advise people to stay off your property? How do you identify the boundary to your property? What level of access control do you require?
Landscape features that identify your property line can be effective means to communicate the boundary. Signs can supplement the landscape features to communicate your boundary. Evaluate landscape choices to prevent landscape from being a tool for concealment or hiding. This is of greater importance as you get closer to the building.
Fencing the perimeter of your property may be a difficult and expensive undertaking. Fencing may require approvals from zoning or building departments. Good fences make good neighbors and fence is a powerful message about restricting access to your site.
There are electronic solutions that allow perimeter monitoring and alarm reporting. These must take into account wildlife and vegetation movement to be effective.
Controlling vehicle traffic into your property is also part of this evaluation. Driveways can be gated or electronically monitored to control access.
Use of cameras to monitor the perimeter of your property is an option. Consider the usefulness of the video captured in relation to detecting entry and identifying suspects. Long range images that lack detail may tell you someone entered but identifying them is not possible. If you consider camera coverage, place the cameras to capture useful images. Image retention should be considered to keep images for a sufficient period to be useful.
These principles apply to homes as well as commercial buildings. The first step is evaluating the normal entry points for your building. Do you have solid doors, strong door frames and dead bolt locks? If securing sliding doors, do you have the ability to secure the tracks versus simply a latch on the sliding door? Protect overhead dock or garage doors with position contact to verify the door is closed and detecting any motion after securing.
Evaluate windows that are accessible. Are the windows equipped with effective locking devices? Are the windows securely installed to prevent removal? Windows can be more secure by using laminated glass that resists shattering. Security films can be applied to windows that make them shatter resistant as well as offering UV protection for interior furnishings. Glass break detection can be used to protect windows that do not operate.
Are other openings accessible easily from grade changes or access from trees or landscape features? If upper story openings can be easily accessed, they need to be considered as available openings for an intruder.
Exterior lighting around the building should be even and not create shadows that can be points of concealment. Match the type and intensity of exterior lighting to any camera systems in use.
If you are planning an alarm system for your building protection should be immediately focused on the perimeter doors and accessible openings. This can be accomplished with door sensors, widow sensors and glass break sensors. Door and window sensors offer the additional benefit of verifying that doors and windows are closed before the system will arm. Glass break sensors will alert you to entry via a broken window. This is important for glass sliding doors.
Consider motion detection within the building. Adding motion detection will alert you to movement that did not trigger a perimeter sensor. This can include breaching walls or hiding in the space until closing. If using motion detection in a home, account for pets and furnishings that may move from HVAC induced drafts. Motion detection is also useful around dock doors that can be breached but not opened to gain access.
High value articles may deserve their own layer of protection. The most common article protection is the use of some type of secure container or room. These can be locked interior rooms up to and including vaults. Containers can range from a simple lockbox to a safe. If you are considering a safe or vault, understand that UL has ratings for these products, and you should consult with an experienced security consultant to select the proper safe and vault for your application. Safes that are designed for protection of paper records from fire may not offer the level of security protection you desire. Similarly, a security rated safe may not protect paper and electronic media from fire damage. Safe and vault ratings should be consistent with the alarm systems for your building and the response time for alarm investigation.
Alarm systems can also be applied at an article level. If you have a safe or vault, there are alarm system arrangements designed to protect these containers. From door monitors to vibration sensors to detect wall attacks, you can add another layer of protection to the security system.
For items outside a container or room you may consider article protection via your alarm system. Devices can sense movement from a display or removal from a frame. Motion detection around specific articles may be an option to consider.
The technology around security systems and products is changing at a pace that defies belief. You have a wide range of options for inside and outside camera systems, alarm systems and reporting options that are all being refined with each new release.
With any of the internet-based systems assess the reliability of the connections and service. Security of the systems and data storage and retention are key considerations for utility and cost.
The Driehaus Difference
Ask us for our advice when it is time to consider security upgrades. We want to make sure you get the maximum benefit from your security investment. We can help you review your facilities and offer our perspective on the security program for your home or business. Call us at 513-977-6860 or contact us on the internet at www.driehausins.com