Tips for Protecting Your Commercial Business from Vandalism
What is Vandalism and Who is at Risk?
The legal definition of vandalism varies from state to state, but the term generally means the intentional damage, defacement, or destruction of someone’s property without the owner’s permission. It is a criminal act and is prohibited by state laws, which may qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the financial damage that is involved. Additionally, there are some states that refer to vandalism as malicious mischief or criminal mischief.
As far as who may be affected by vandalism, the answer is all business properties, especially vacant buildings. Unfortunately, experiencing vandalism can impact a business in numerous of ways. The most obvious is that it creates damage to the property, which will take time and money to repair.
Tips for Preventing Vandalism
While it is impossible to prevent all acts of vandalism, you can prepare your property so that it discourages vandals.
- Maintain good lighting. The property should remain well lit, especially at night.
- Install and properly maintain cameras. If a crime does occur, police can use your surveillance to identify and catch the perpetrators.
- Keep property tidy. An unorganized area tends to attract vandals.
- Plant shrubbery or fencing. Not only do fencing and shrubbery offer cosmetic appeal to any property, but they also function as the first line of defense against potential intruders.
- Invest in break-resistant glass. Utilizing a break-resistant glass will make the act of breaking in more difficult for vandals to break in.
- Don’t ignore it! If you do experience vandalism, don’t put it off. Vandalism encourages more vandalism.
- Contact authorities. Report vandalism to your local department as soon as possible. If it is not reported, nothing will be done. The department may increase the number of patrols in your area if it is known.
- Share information. Check in with the neighboring businesses to see if they have experienced any sort of vandalism. Sharing information helps reveal the criminals’ patterns that could potentially aide in stopping the vandals.
- Join a business watch group. Like neighborhood watch groups, there are resources available to either start a group or join one. It is a good way to reduce crime by keeping an eye on each other’s property.
Has your place of business been affected by vandalism? SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana can assist with any damages that have occurred.