Vandalism could mean broken lights or windows, ruined signage, graffiti, scratched or dented vehicles, and much worse. Sometimes it’s not random, but an act of revenge or a deliberate message. Businesses are a convenient target because they’re conspicuous and often unattended after hours. A single incident of vandalism costs an average of $3,370. Here are some tips for preventing vandalism on your premises.
1. Light it up
There should be lights over every entrance, and enough fixtures around the exterior to cover all windows, at a minimum. Remove any shrubs or other obstacles that will create hiding places or long shadows. You could also provide ground-level lighting to help reduce shadows. Installing some bright motion-activated lights, or timers on interior lighting, could also alarm vandals and send them running.
2. Protect windows
You could place steel “burglar bars” over the windows, or protect them with wire mesh, but this may not look very inviting to customers. There are more discreet versions with the wire mesh placed between two separate sheets of glass. You might want to invest in replacing regular glass with unbreakable security glass. It’s also possible to buy window films that prevent damage from acidic chemicals.
3. Video surveillance
The fact that cameras are present is by itself enough to deter many vandals. Have a video system on the exterior that covers key entry points like gates, doors, or loading docks. Make the cameras visible. Be sure to put up signs notifying anyone that the property is under video surveillance. Even if the cameras don’t scare of the vandals, at least you’ve got footage to show the police.
4. Put up barriers
Use fences or dense growths of prickly shrubs to serve as barriers around key points, such as signage or ground-floor windows. Put up wire mesh fencing to protect areas at the rear that can’t be seen from the street. If budget allows, put it up around the perimeter of the entire property. Be sure that all gates are secured at the end of the business day.
5. Get anti-graffiti coating
Graffiti is a common problem because many vandals choose to see it as “artistic” or relatively harmless. But graffiti invites more graffiti. It’s bad for business, and it will take time and money to repaint. One solution is anti-graffiti coatings. Powder coatings made for this purpose create a permanent layer that paints won’t bond to. Even after drying, the paint can be quickly wiped away with a simple solvent.
Vandalism is annoying and costly. You should put every possible measure in place to prevent damage. Following these tips could save you a lot of money, and keep your professional reputation intact without any trouble.