Protecting Against Vandalism
Vandalism is more than an unsightly inconvenience – it’s a threat to your company’s image, leasability, and neighborhood.
Graffiti, broken windows, damaged doors, pulled fire alarms, equipment theft, arson, squatters, property defacement, landscape sabotage – no matter its form or intention, vandalism is an unsightly mess and an unnecessary expense.
A single instance of vandalism acts like a ripple in a pond, having greater implications than the initial event. Vandalism can increase your area’s crime rate, contribute to neighborhood blight, decrease your property value, result in repeated maintenance, incur repair costs, cause delays to construction projects, and inhibit leasing agreements.
“You can put a dollar figure on what it will take to repair or renovate an act of vandalism, but how do you put a price on missing tenant rent, delays to construction schedules, or lost revenue traction?” asks Jim O’Brien, general manager for Vacant Property Specialists (VPS), a security management firm. “These opportunity costs are hard to measure but are a real cost nonetheless.”
Whether deliberate or unintentional, vandalism can undermine your company’s image and business message. You also don’t want it to shake your employees’ confidence in the building’s safety, says Randy Montelius, vice president of engineering for Communications Engineering Company (CEC).
While no building is immune to willful destruction, you can effectively reduce your risk by taking preventive measures.
In the event of vandalism, swift action is one of your greatest allies. A primary goal of vandals is to have their destruction put on display. Remove this satisfaction by immediately wiping out evidence of their acts, says O’Brien.
“Make sure you also communicate with building occupants,” recommends Montelius. ”Let them know what happened and what’s being done to resolve it.”
Lastly, have procedures in place that allow you to reroute maintenance crew for cleanup, retain a restoration company to repair damaged items, and ensure that your security force can be temporarily increased. You should also completely inspect the building for overlooked damage, O’Brien stresses.
Accounting for criminal acts should be part of your emergency response plan. While it may not endanger life safety, you need to have a plan of action in place so vandalism doesn’t impact your business continuity.
SERVPRO of Derry/Londonderry provides services for removal and clean-up of Vandalism and Graffiti. Stop in, call or email for more details.