What Is Perimeter Security and Why Should I Care?

Posted by Kirk Biddle on October 18, 2019

What exactly is perimeter security? You know that perimeter means the boundaries of a property. And security refers to protecting that area. When you put the two words together, perimeter security is putting systems in place to safeguard everything within the boundary. The goal is to keep intruders out, deter crime, and maintain safety.

Perimeter security isn't just about protecting the building on the property. It also addresses the areas outside of the facility such as the parking lot and garage, landscaping, loading docks, and pedestrian traffic.

Companies have many options for securing the perimeter. The more layers they add to the security, the greater the protection. Bolstering the security of your property can be as simple as locking the door to as powerful as adding video surveillance.

Here are five things you can do to create multi-layered perimeter security around your property to protect your business.

1. Add Proper Lighting

Installing lights on a property is a science that requires careful thought and planning. There are factors to consider such as what kind of lighting, how much lighting, and where to place the lights. If you have a parking garage, lighting is an essential factor, especially in the stairwells. Too often, stairwell lighting is poor and does little to make people feel safe.

Many people mistake brighter lighting as better. It's not about the brightness. Rather, it's about the color of the lighting and the distance between lights. If they're too far, then you risk creating shadowy areas and hiding spaces. You also don't want them too close because that costs more than you need to spend.

As you work with a security consultant to design an effective lighting layout, verify you install lights by all entry and exit points, parking lot, stairwells, walkway to building or construction site, shrubs and trees, landscaping, and the exterior around the building.

Another thing to consider in your lighting setup is motion sensor lights. When someone approaches a property and the lights turn on, it often scares the person away. It's like the spotlight suddenly shines on the suspect and puts the person at the center of attention.

2. Review the Landscape Design and Aesthetics

Of course, you want your property to look good. A construction site and commercial building aren't the prettiest sights. With construction sites being the exception, landlords and property managers hire a landscaping company to make the property look good. Unfortunately, the actions you take to make it look good can affect security.

The things you do not want to hide are the video surveillance cameras. It's tempting to cover them up, but you lose a huge benefit when you do that. The very sight of cameras can deter some would-be criminals and can help prevent crime.

Landscaping can also end up causing more security issues. Say there's a tree between the parking garage and the building. This gives suspects hidden access to the building. If you already have landscaping, you might consider working with a security consultant who can evaluate it from a security standpoint. The key is to find a way to improve aesthetics without risking security.

3. Put up Fencing or Walls

Installing a fence around the perimeter is one of the cheapest ways to dissuade theft. In some situations, it's enough to stop would-be criminals, but not all of them. The downside of a fence is that it can affect aesthetics and criminals can cut through it or climb over it. On the other hand, you can see through fencing, which enhances security.

Fencing also gives you a way to lock the gate and prevent entry. Again, any criminal with bolt cutters can break through it. That's why you want to apply multiple layers of security. The more layers you have, the longer it takes for the trespasser to make it into the building or construction site where the expensive equipment and materials are located.

Walls cost more than fencing but offer more security in that they're harder to penetrate. However, walls are permanent, something construction sites can't use. However, the project the construction company works on may require walls. They can build the walls first to protect the site while they work.

Walls offer more privacy than fencing, which is good and bad. It's good because it adds privacy. It's bad when someone trespasses because no one will see the person within the walls. You can fortify the security with an integrated security system that contains an access control system at the entry, which leads to the next layer.

4. Install an Access Control System

An access control system can do more than control who can enter the perimeter. It can also manage who can enter the building and limited-access rooms, such as the data room that stores a lot of private and business-critical information. The advantage of an access control system is that you can use it at a gate in the parking garage and for entering the perimeter.

With an access control system, you don't have to worry about rekeying locks when someone is fired or resigns from the company. If the ex-employee accidentally forgets to turn in the badge, you won't have to worry because you can shut off access.

Access systems often work better than keypads because people have a tendency to forget the keypad codes. It also takes longer to enter the building with keypads. This gives suspicious people time to catch up to the person entering the code and walk in with them.

Access control systems are quicker and reduce the chances of a trespasser following someone into the building. When you add cameras to the access system, you further reduce the chances of that happening.

5. Use Video Monitoring Cameras

The advantage of live video monitoring is that you can rest easy knowing that someone watches your entire perimeter unlike with security guards. They can only have eyes on the areas where they are patrolling.

Video monitoring cameras are also an effective part of an integrated security system. They can work together with an access control system. If you have an access control system as a perimeter entry point, you can post a camera to observe who enters and exits the property. It can also capture the license plate and other identifying information.

When a security system includes video monitoring cameras and access control, you can match the time stamp from the access with the video to see what happened at a certain time.

The other advantage of a video surveillance system is that it can deter crime or often catch the suspects before they cause damage or leave the property. A trained operator can see a suspect approaching the property before entering. This allows the operator to be proactive.

The first deterrent is live video camera streaming. Some suspects will leave when they see the cameras, but not all of them. The second deterrent is the operator issuing a warning over the audio speaker telling the suspect to leave the premises. Again, this will stop some suspects, but not all.

The third deterrent is the operator calling the police. While the police heads to the property, the operating monitor can follow the suspect for as long as needed and gives the police updates on the suspect's location.

If for any reason the suspect gets away before the police arrive, remote video monitoring can capture activity in a recording. The operator can review the footage for distinguishing information and share that with the police. Moreover, the recordings can supply evidence to protect the business from injury, fraud, and liability claims.

This is why it's critical to implement the right video monitoring cameras. Not all cameras can make out faces and other useful details. It's also important to incorporate a recording system and store the data for a set time.

Sometimes management finds out about something that happened earlier. It could have happened two weeks or a month ago. When you research remote video monitoring, ask the security company how long they retain footage.

Real-time monitoring can help to proactively mitigate risks and damage while limiting business disruption. Live video cameras streaming without monitoring are a reactive solution. By the time someone finds out something has happened, the suspect could be long gone.

Real-time monitoring can spot suspicious activities before or as soon as they occur. This can minimize problems and interference with the day-to-day operations. If damage occurs, it may require closing the business for repairs. That delays construction projects, which can have financial implications.

Implementing Multi-Layered Perimeter Security

These five ways can buttress your property to curtail liability and damage. The more security layers you implement, the less likely your business is at risk for theft, trespassing, and vandalism. This can drive down liability insurance premiums.

Taking a layered, proactive approach to security keeps your tenants, workers and visitors safe. In fact, monitored video cameras can also watch for potential safety hazards and report them before anything goes wrong.

Better yet, implementing an integrated security system unifies your security. This means you'll need fewer people to manage the security and watch the cameras. Thus, it saves time and money. Best of all, it can lead to a quick ROI.

To learn more, download the free guide "Live Video Monitoring: More Than Just Catching Criminals." If you need help creating a perimeter security plan or want to learn more about video security, please contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring