How to keep vacant office space safe from burglaries
Transpacific President, Rod Fram, contributed his thoughts to a recent Western Investor article on security concerns surrounding the unprecedented amount of vacant commercial space, which is fuelling a spike in business burglaries. His advice? Nothing beats “boots on the ground”.
“Even if you have a half-full building, you have vagrants showing up, sleeping in the entrance ways, discarding needles, dumping stuff on the property. Security is a massive problem.”
Fram said a recent tour of 30 commercial sites in the Fraser Valley, a mix of office and industrial properties, found most were operating with a skeleton staff. “Pretty well every single building had the front doors locked and you had to be buzzed in.” Other sites were completely devoid of people.
But it is vital to give the impression that a site is being monitored, Fram warned.
“Once people think a building isn’t being watched is when bad things happen,” he said.
He advises property owners to increase the number of visible, random foot patrols. Some retailers with valuable inventory, such as drugs or high-end fashions, have barred windows and use barriers to stop thieves from crashing vehicles through windows. One of his clients, a jeweller, has installed smoke machines that flood the space with an impenetrable fog to deter thieves.
Fram added that any property owner leaving space vacant must notify their insurance company and provide evidence that the property is being protected. “You can actually void your property insurance if you don’t take the necessary steps to secure it while it is vacant,” he said.