How Commercial Real Estate Owners Can Address the Rising Crime Rate
Security measures need to be put in place to keep your tenants safe. This is a pressing issue, as the violent crime rate has climbed by 12% in U.S. cities. Murder, rape, and aggravated assault were top contenders. These problems tend to be more common in urban areas but can still be prevalent in rural neighborhoods. In fact, the violent crime rate in suburban and rural areas rose by 4%.
These stats create an unsafe environment for employees and their clients. Plus, larger spaces can leave your tenants more vulnerable to unsuspected attacks.
Larceny-theft is the most common nonviolent crime in the U.S., with about 4.6 million cases reported in 2020. Larceny is the unlawful taking of someone else’s property without consent, and unmonitored areas are most vulnerable. Plus, replacing stolen possessions can be costly for your tenants.
Another thing to remember is these issues could lead to expensive lawsuits for you.
How to Provide Better Security
While these statistics may seem scary, there are ways you can improve your tenants’ safety. Here are some security measures you should take. Remember to review your plan regularly and make updates as needed.
1. Know Your Property’s Potential Threats
The first step to preventing crime is by knowing your area.
Different geographical regions face various threats. A more densely populated place or one with higher poverty is more vulnerable to violent crime, making it vital to research historical crime rates in your area. You can use online tools, like FBI Crime Data Explorer and Area Vibes, and then come up with cost-effective solutions that minimize these risks.
2. Learn From Other Owners
Check out your competition and see how they handle security. See what strategies have been effective and ineffective, and build on their ideas. This can help you minimize liability issues as well.
3. Secure the Outside of the Building
You want to keep any threats out of the building. One thing to consider is guards at the entryway to provide a layer of protection before people even enter the store. In addition, have your tenants review safety policies and producers with their employees. This could include things like having everyone check-in before starting work.
Also, have fewer entry points and seal all the doors and windows. Consider reinforcing your casements with security film and installing sensors. Ensure all entry points, such as lobbies, stairwells, and elevators, are evenly secured.
4. Be Strategic About Design Plans
Adding safety measures starts with planning. Incorporate lighting, sightlines, and landscaping barriers as part of the design. Start by installing lights in high-traffic areas, such as pathways and sidewalks. Proper lighting can increase security and the building’s visual appeal. Add a few taller bushes or a fence to provide an extra layer of protection.
Another area to pay attention to is the parking lot. It should have adequate lighting and only one vehicle access point to prevent mugging or vandalism.
You should also install plenty of security cameras. Place these at entryways and easy access locations. Invest in a smart security camera if you have enough room in your budget. Look for one that has motion-activated recording, good-quality resolution, and night vision.
5. Take Advantage of Community Support
Community members who feel connected to your space may be more likely to want to protect it, so keep your exterior well-maintained and landscaped. In addition, place staff offices and community rooms near multifamily housing complexes.
Another tip is to work with local law enforcement to improve neighborhood security. Showing you care about the community encourages residents to report any incidents at your property.
6. Incorporate Technology
Security cameras are just one form of safety equipment. There are many others you can add to your property. Use a closed-circuit television system to monitor consumer activity and provide enhanced resolution for better reliability, accuracy, and recording capability. Infrared technology helps you monitor parking lots without ambient lighting if you live in an urban area. That way, the neighbors aren’t disturbed, and it catches thieves by surprise.
Technology can also track those entering the building. For example, card-access systems and hand scanners are becoming popular. These devices allow only certain people access and provide instant identification information. Plus, they report data on the exact time people enter or leave the building.
7. Keep the Building in Top Condition
Unkempt spaces can be easy targets for burglars. Keep windows clean and landscaping well maintained to prevent reduced visibility. Security patrols need to easily see what is happening inside the property.
Regularly inspect the building and talk with your tenants about safety concerns. Keep these reports on file to prevent future issues. Also, remember to examine your security systems. For example, ensure all light switches are working properly. Then keep a checklist of the items you need to upgrade or maintain. Having faulty equipment can lead to liability issues in the future.
How to Address the Rising Crime Rate
Many real estate owners face challenges as crime rates rise in the U.S. It’s more important now than ever to keep your tenants safe and happy, so utilize these strategies to keep your property secure.
Author Bio: Zac Amos writes about IoT, cybersecurity, and other tech topics, and he works as the Features Editor at ReHack.
Originally published at https://stratafolio.com on February 19, 2022.