The short answer is “yes.” Fencing is basic measure that guards against liability and discourages criminal activity
If you own a business or manage an organization that’s housed in a freestanding building or buildings, you’ll need to protect your property from a variety of risks – including criminal acts, like trespassing, theft, and vandalism, as well as legal disasters like “slip and fall” lawsuits. In many cases, the most basic step is the installation of a security fence. A security fence acts as the first line of defense in your access control strategy.
In addition to traditional fencing, businesses in certain industries can augment the barrier with barbed wire, electric fencing, solid walls, motion sensors, cameras and other technologies that act as an increased deterrent to entry. These can be especially helpful for facilities working with dangerous machinery or toxic chemicals, businesses located in high-crime areas, and companies that are working with proprietary technologies or others that require a significant degree of privacy. Of course, some of these solutions don’t work with a retail location or a mid-town office space that must maintain a welcoming image – but the added security is ideal for a variety of other facilities.
Fencing can help protect businesses against costly “slip and fall” lawsuits as well as traditional security threats
Businesses without fencing can expose themselves to significant liability, as anyone who visits the property during off-hours, in exceptionally bad weather, or during renovations could walk into a dangerous area and experience an accident. In some cases, trespassers have won personal injury lawsuits against business owners. Just because a person isn’t supposed to be on your property doesn’t mean you’re safe from liability.
However, when it comes to liability, not all buildings are equal; some buildings are especially at risk, including those with:
- Stairs, particularly outdoor ones
- Many slippery outdoor surfaces
- Uneven sidewalks or walkways
- Exterior decks and balconies
- Large, exposed (easily broken) windows
In addition to preventing employees and visitors from entering restricted or unsafe areas (especially during off hours), fences also discourage more serious criminal activity, such as vandalism and theft. A simple fence may also be able to lower insurance premiums, depending on the specific policies of the insurer.
Security fencing may be especially helpful for certain retail stores and all schools
Security fencing can help all kinds of organizations, but it’s especially helpful in schools and other educational institutions, where students require added protection. A report by Hanover Research found that effectively installed school fencing may be able to help strengthen school security by limiting access to hard-to-see areas and also by reinforcing surveillance efforts. Perhaps most importantly, fences allow schools to restrict “entry and exit points to a few easily monitored areas,” making it much more difficult for unwanted individuals to enter and harass or harm students. Coupled with electronic access control, adequate surveillance, remote monitoring, and possibly a security vestibule at the main entrance, fencing is an essential part of a campus security strategy.
Retail stores, especially those in areas with higher crime rates, can also reassure their customers and employees with security fences. Basic fencing not only discourages unwanted individuals from entering the property during off-hours, it also may be able to effectively reduce the frequency of shoplifting and vandalism during business hours, as it slows down a potential criminal’s exit from the property. The key to fencing a retail business is to keep the fence attractive and the image welcoming. A chain link barrier with razor wire may keep out criminals – but it will also likely turn away shoppers.
And if a fence isn’t possible for your structure – or even if it is – adequate surveillance, remote monitoring, electronic access control, and a variety of other modern security measures should be considered as part of a comprehensive security strategy.
To learn more about how smart technology and time-tested infrastructure can protect your organization, contact POM Technologies today at 212.688.2767 or complete our online form for a free consultation.
Peace of Mind Technologies, LLC (POM) is New York’s premier systems integrator for security and surveillance technology.
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