Beginners Guide: Creating a Security Perimeter
Are you interested in learning how to secure your home or business, but not sure where to start? Most people aren’t sure where to begin, and that’s okay because we’re here to help!
We want to make sure you have the knowledge and resources to secure your space. While reading these suggestions, keep in mind that every location is unique. While these suggestions will apply to most places, everyone will encounter unique challenges. You can find solutions for your specific needs here.
Top 5 Priorities for Securing your Perimeter:
1. Invest in sturdy doors and locks
This tip may seem overly simplistic, but it’s the first recommendation SCW Solutions Consultants have made to every single home or business we have spoken with during our ten years in this business.
The absolute best ‘first step’ you should consider to secure your building is to invest in sturdy doors. Getting metal or heavy wooden doors that burglars or other threats can’t kick open is the best dollar you can spend on security.
While you’re considering doors, make sure you have good-quality locks, too. Locks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. We would encourage you to select door locks with a deadbolt - and not just rely on the far-less-sturdy door knob locks. It would also be prudent to consider a handle that reduces an intruders ability to use tools to turn the handle from the outside (handles that pull down to open, for example, make it easy for an intruder to use tools to reach under the door and up to pull the handle down). Prioritizing well-made doors and locks will go a long way in keeping your home or business safe.
2. Monitor Activity at Each Entry
After you’ve invested in high-quality doors and locks, we’d advise adding an alarm sensor and camera at each entry point. This follows best practices by ensuring the prioritization of the “closest” risk points before considering other options.
While doors and locks are all about keeping an unwanted party out of your space, cameras, and alarms are all about ensuring that should an intruder attempt to break in, you have the ability to monitor and respond accordingly. If someone is trying to break in, an alarm will give you 30 seconds to assess the threat/danger and determine whether or not to contact the proper authorities. The camera allows you to see and share relevant intruder related information, both after the fact and get notified of movement during an event.
Remember, Doorbell Cameras are not Security Devices
You can add a doorbell if you want the convenience of being able to talk back and forth while you are away, but if you are concerned with security, a doorbell camera won’t cut it.
Why? To save battery power, doorbell cameras have a maximum recording period and a time where they cannot record again. If they didn’t have these features, the battery would completely drain if you have coffee on your porch.
The problem is this - along with the fact that you can delete footage - means that judges cannot be sure that the video had not been selectively edited, so they are often unusable in court.
For the camera, we recommend running the cable for an “always on” powered camera. It isn’t going to be as convenient as a battery-powered camera, but it will be usable in court.
3. Monitor what’s going on in near your car(s)
There’s no doubt that parking lots are dangerous. There are new people in and out daily. You need to think about protecting your cars from theft and vandalism.
To gain the best coverage and to protect your parking lot, we recommend mounting the cameras, so they create a slight overlap from various mounting locations, creating a triangulation. You need to see everything inside of that area. Make sure your cameras cover all the angles. This set-up will help you catch a wide-field of activity within your parking lot.
Helpful tip: don’t be afraid to ask your neighbors if they have security cameras! In the event of theft or vandalism, they may have caught something on camera that you didn’t)
If you’re a homeowner, protecting your car from theft and vandalism is still a concern. We recommend mounting cameras in a space that catches all driveway activity. To see more specific tips about your securing your driveway, see our article on securing your home here.
4. Secure your windows
Like doors, burglars have easy access to your building through the windows. Thieves may attempt to break windows when they can’t break down a door. We recommend installing open/close sensors on windows that can open. For large window panes, glass storefronts, or windows, glass break sensors are your best answer. These sensors will siren if glass breaks. This alert will give you time to assess the threat and decide if you need to call the authorities.
5. Protect what’s inside, too
We know that protecting your home from a break-in isn’t the only thing on your mind. Keeping your family safe from internal threats are just as important as external ones. A kitchen is most likely the first places a fire can happen.
We suggest a 3 in one smoke/fire/temperature sensor to keep you safe from these disasters. These sensors provide protection standard smoke alarms cannot by detecting abrupt temperature increases, smoke, and temperature above a threshold. We also want to make sure gas leaks aren’t a threat to your family, so we also recommend a Carbon Monoxide Sensor.
Although we are a camera company, we do not consider it important for a homeowner to install cameras indoors, unless you invite semi-trusted individuals (Nanny’s, Home Health Care Nurses, Elder Care, Cleaning Companies) inside frequently. Be careful about taking the recommendation from companies whose main source of revenue comes from marketing or consumer data collection on whether or not you should install cameras inside your home. Most indoor cameras are sold cheaply because YOU and your data are the product - their terms of service make it clear: they (not you) own the video.
As a business owner, your biggest threats are often coming from inside of the building. It’s crucial to monitor vulnerable areas where you have cash or expensive equipment.
Shoplifting only accounts for about 38% of shrinkage. Vendor fraud, employee theft, and administrative errors, together, result in about 3 times as much loss in product as shoplifting. occurs from employees than from strangers.
Safeguarding yourself from theft should also not be your only concern. You also need to know what happened in order to be protected from lawsuits and bad press resulting from HR issues, customer-on-customer conflict, employee-on-employee conflict, and employee-on-employee conflict. Lastly, you will also need a record of action or remediation to prove that you were not negligent in the case of an accident.
We recommend that you install cameras where employees or customers have access.
Automate Your Space
We also recommend an automation system, a device that allows you to monitor, control, and automate your space with smart devices while you’re away. A wireless automation system is easy to install and discreet.
The automation hub can create additional security by making it look like you are home when you aren’t. Combining motion sensors and smart IOT products like smart lights and smart switches can make it seem like you are home when you aren’t.
An automation hub can also help save you from disaster. Every year leaks and fires cause more damage to homes than theft. For example, an automation hub can connect with a smart water valve and a leak sensor to automatically shut off the water in your building if a leak or flood is detected. This can save you ten to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An automation hub can also help save you lots and lots of money. It can turn off your air conditioning when you open a window, for example.