The Price is Painful
Prevention and security solutions are not one size fits all. Every company has a different idea about which security and prevention tools will work for them. It might be a combination of security cameras, GPS equipment, signage, remote and in-person guards, whatever suits the equipment, job, and budget. Regardless of how you decide to spend your prevention dollars, there’s one very important component that is regularly overlooked and can end up being a very painful one when you do: missed maintenance.
From security cameras and inventory tracking tags to armed guards and telematics – these tools are available to help make our lives easier. Most of the time, that’s exactly what they do, therefore making the investment worth every penny. The problem lies in missing out on the on-going or periodic upkeep of said prevention tools and the painful moment when you find out that your investment isn’t functioning when you need it most because the maintenance schedule was overlooked.
We’ve seen several incidents in the past few months where a piece of equipment with a tracking device was stolen. When the victims became aware of the thefts and tried to acquire the units’ locations, they soon realized that the tracking device they had hung their hat on wasn’t functioning. When they reached out to their provider to find out why the unit wasn’t reporting, they were informed that the device had never been activated, or had become inactive due to missing the small print that said the unit needed to be charged, re-activated or possibly replaced at certain intervals. Falling victim to thieves is bad enough, but imagine the frustration you’d feel when you think you’ll be able to share the exact location of that missing skid steer, message board, or vehicle, only to find that the device isn’t reporting because the fine print of the maintenance schedule got lost in the shuffle. A painful lesson indeed.
Here are a few things to consider to keep your prevention investments up to snuff and ready when you need them:
- Verify if any installed tracking or telematics devices are activated upon installation / purchase or how to activate them.
- Check that all components of your camera systems are functioning as intended.
- Are cameras capturing the intended images? Check frequently!
- Are your security camera recordings being captured as expected? Are they accessible and easy to share?
- Regularly update your emergency contacts for your security company and CPP.
- Do you have quick and easy access to GPS information?
- Are you able to efficiently share your GPS information with law enforcement to track (and attempt to recover) stolen equipment?
- Share specific instructions in writing with your security provider in the event of an incident, including:
- Names of employees or anyone who is expected on site after hours.
- Company contacts and the order in which they should be called.
- Permission for Law Enforcement to gain entry if needed.
- Keep a detailed timeline of required maintenance for all items.
- Know who to contact when you need information or help.
- Know who is responsible for the upkeep or maintenance of specific items.
- Perform weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual inspections of your prevention and recovery tools.
- Familiarize your crew with the life expectancy of your prevention products and how /when to replace them.
- Have an overlap of duties so that more than one person is responsible for the upkeep.
It’s easy to miss inspecting your security and prevention tools in the midst of a busy schedule. Remembering to check in with your GPS devices occasionally falls by the wayside when you’re swamped with the hustle and bustle of doing business. Checking that your cameras are pointed in a worthwhile direction or that your security company knows who to call in an emergency might be a task that pops up on radar now and then, but it isn’t always the main focus; honestly, it would defeat the purpose of the investment if it was. When you arm yourself with information and the contacts needed to ask questions, you can rest easy when you need to access them., Your prevention investments will be standing at the ready to perform their duties and prove they are worth every penny of what you paid for them.
*The Crime Prevention Program of Southern California (CPP) is a non-profit organization working with our members, law enforcement, the construction industry and area auto theft task forces to educate, empower and engage in a community fighting all types of construction crime. For information on how you can join the CPP community, contact Melissa Somers, Executive Director @ 562-860-9006 or email: [email protected]. Together, We Make a Difference.