Feature articles in the June issue of Inside Self-Storage always bring security and crime prevention to the forefront, covering it from just about every technical aspect possible, and this year is no exception. We of the techno-world like to engage all kinds of gadgetry to armor our our businesses against criminals of all sorts. Sometimes, though, the easiest and simplest of strategies are overlooked despite how effective they can be.
Recently, while interviewing an entrepreneur for an article, I asked how he kept his business safe and secure. Instead of listing bolts, fencing and cameras, he started with the basics, discussing how he avoided planting hedges or bushes near doorways, which, along with parking areas, were kept well lighted at night.(Remember the KISS philosophy?)
The National Crime Prevention Institute invites all law enforcers, architects, planners, landscapers and business people to examine ways in which they can create safe environments from the ground level and up. The institute has developed a program designated as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The goal of the program is "to prevent crime through designing a physical environment that postively influences human behavior." With proper placement of fences, good lighting and well-designed walks/parking lots, customers will feel safe, but criminals will not.
Another practical approach to deterring crime in your area mimics Neighborhood Watch programs, in which residents of a community band together to create a safe, secure environment. For the business community, the program is aptly named, Business Watch, and it's fostered by the National Sheriffs' Association to bring local entrepreneurs together to share in the fight against crime.
Many self-storage owners have crime prevention on the mind when designing their facilities, which often brings them to consult with manufacturers of hardware, software, gates, keypads, cameras, CCTV and the likes. Continue consulting with these professional experts, but also strike up conversations with a landscape-design company, the local police force and your neighboring business people to make sure you are fending off crime in every way possible.