Commercial storage spaces often hold up well in hard economic conditions. They represent a $21.5 billion market, and those kinds of numbers really grab the attention of criminals. Commercial storage may be proving more robust than other sectors during difficult economic times, but the best in security video surveillance is required if they also hope to be crime-proof.
This guide will walk you through the classic and emerging security risks, what your yard can do about them, and why working with storage yard security professionals is the key to success.
The Old and New Risks Facing Storage Yards
Equipment yards/laydown yards, shipping yards, docks, and ports full of valuable freight – storage yards in Maryland and Virginia span the business and logistics spectrum, which means all kinds of companies are vulnerable to illegal entry, vandalism, and theft. Seaports are particularly at risk due to their high traffic in CRAVED goods, and criminal networks excel in exploiting physical, administrative, and logistical vulnerabilities.
Traditional methods of storage yard surveillance are long out of date as the only way to effectively guard your premises. Yards still face perennial security risks, but there are also emerging threats tied to advancing technologies and deteriorating social conditions, and they create new surveillance pressures:
- Economic Downturns Often Fuel Crime
Storage yards need protection in good times or bad, but a tough economy too often leads to a crime wave that could increase danger from intruders, vandals, and thieves.
- Cyber-Savvy Criminals
Modern smart locks employ measures such as numerical/alphabetical passcodes, 2-step authentication, and biometrics in hopes of keeping intruders out. This is a great step forward for storage yard security, but modern criminals are finding ways to hack even the most advanced locking systems before slipping in unseen.
- Video Surveillance Tech Has Leapt Forward
Some storage yards have not, however. Many existing video surveillance systems used by storage yards are stuck in the last century and provide only a false sense of security. They are little more than glorified recording devices that provide subpar footage, present security risks through on-site record storage, and provide little to no active protection.
- No Backup During Power Failures
Local power can go down at any time and take a security system out with it. Too many storage yards would be left wide open to attack in an outage, with no secondary surveillance source and no on-site enforcement personnel to pick up the slack.
These issues can affect any storage facility regardless of size, location, or time of day. The difference between being a victor and becoming a victim begins with adopting the surveillance habits of security experts.
6 Essential Practices for Storage Yard Security
Surveying your storage yard may give you a sense of being overwhelmed. Such a wide-open space with multiple ways in and plenty of places to hide presents myriad security hurdles. The trick is turning those security challenges into surveillance opportunities.
- Understand the Layout and Purpose of Your Yard
No two storage areas are alike, with each serving their various purposes. This diversity creates a unique risk profile for every property that must be addressed to effectively protect the perimeter and interior.
- Let Professionals Survey and Protect the Site
Security specialists can tour a storage yard to see where strengths and weaknesses lie. They can draft a security plan before installing and configuring superior video surveillance equipment that will be monitored remotely by off-site video surveillance agents (VSAs).
- Leverage More Modern Tech
Yard, dock, and port operations can also deploy specialized management systems that use intelligent software to keep a closer eye on all processes and personnel operating on the premises. Radio Frequency Identification, GPS, and other data gathering tools can be deployed in helping to fight storage yard theft and damage, which are too often perpetrated by on-site workers.
- Secure the Proper Positions
All weak points should be covered by the best cameras and analytics to monitor vulnerable areas. The demands of today’s wireless video surveillance systems necessitate a clear signal to ensure that Wi-Fi functions optimally, so environmental obstructions and elemental concerns must further drive the placement of storage yard security solutions.
- Make High Visibility a Priority
Part of successful storage yard security is letting criminals know you have it. Place surveillance equipment in high-profile, clearly visible positions that are beyond the reach of any potential tampering. Storage yards and ports should also be thoroughly well lit to make it harder for intruders to hide in these often-huge spaces.
- Deploy Professional Armed Security
VSAs are a strong way to add the human element to storage yard security, but the addition of professional armed security completes the package. Experienced on-site security personnel provide the knowledge, courage, and cool head necessary for the most direct and actionable protection against physical threats (and they don’t go offline in a power outage).
These best practices are sadly not the norm. Many storage yards feel that their surveillance security is either sufficient or that new measures are too expensive, despite the fact that the initial investment will pay for itself many times over in preventing criminal actions.
Common Pitfalls of Inferior Storage Yard Security
Maybe you’ve got a guard dog, locks, and alarms, and you got a great deal on some imitation security cameras. You may even be willing to face trespassers head-on by yourself. Consider the following before relying too much on those:
- Dummy cameras save storage yards money in the extreme short-term. However, they soon make money for criminals who can easily tell the real thing from a fake.
- The toughest locks can be broken. The smartest alarms can be outsmarted. Hardware is a great ally but a poor universal solution. Over-reliance on it sacrifices the human element, which is essential for optimized surveillance.
- Guard dogs are a fierce but flawed security measure that won’t intimidate everyone. Dogs also sleep, get distracted, and can’t call the authorities.
- Personal agency is commendable, but it could get you injured or killed. Facing down intruders alone is a dynamic and dangerous experience that you may fail to handle effectively, but which professional armed security is trained for.
Surveillance exists to minimize storage yard risks. Optimized storage yard security achieves this when handled by a professional team that can create and execute a plan for your total peace of mind.
Contact the SMART Team With Any Questions
Storage yard security is a critical concern that doesn’t have to be complicated. Our seasoned security professionals can walk you through the entire process, providing fully customized 24/7 solutions and cutting-edge technology.
Contact SMART Security Pros with any questions and speak with an expert today.