Seven Easy Steps to Make Your Facility Less Inviting to Would-Be Criminals

Having a security system is critical to warding off criminals. But don’t forget it is equally important to make your facility environmentally unwelcoming to would-be intruders. Put another way, make it clear to the criminals that your facility is not an easy target, and that their time would be better spent somewhere else. Here is a list of things you can do to make your facility less attractive to criminals.

  1. Determine where your telephone lines enter your building. If you have any exposed telephone lines, take steps to secure them. Remember, 10% of the time forced entry is made into a facility, telephone lies are cut prior to entry.
  2. Make sure your address can easily be seen from the street, and can be seen after daylight hours. If you have a large facility and entry can be gained from the rear of your building, be sure your address is visible on the rear of your building. Remember, police and fire agencies are dispatched to your address and not to the name of your company. Make it easy for responding authorities to find your building in case of an emergency.
  3. We encourage you to place No Trespassing or No Loitering signs around your building. These signs give the police probable cause to question individuals that are on the grounds of your facility.
  4. Check your landscaping. Shrubs in front of any window should not be higher than 42 inches. All trees next to your building should be trimmed to 7 feet. Make any entry to your roof difficult. 25% of all forced entry is NOT through a door or window.
  5. Good outside lighting helps reduce crime. Make it difficult for the burglar to find places to hide as they make entry into your building.
  6. Place all dumpsters away from doors. This will help reduce internal losses during the daytime hours.
  7. Eliminate keys and replace them with an electronic door locking system that can be programmed to allow authorized individuals entry to specific doors, during specified hours. Also, consider adding an electronic access system to your server room.




Why are false alarms a problem?

False alarms take police away from real emergencies. This embarrassing situation for you can endanger responding authorities and your community.

  • False alarms make your security system less reliable and credible.
  • False alarms can cost you money! Almost all cities and towns assess costly fines for excessive false alarms.
  • False alarms may make you reluctant to arm your system thus exposing your facility and property to undetected theft and fire.
  • False alarms at night make your responders less productive the next day.

What causes false alarms?

70% of false alarms are caused by user error. Be sure to train anyone who may be using your system, such as employees, cleaning staff or real estate agents. Sonitrol offers free training as long as we monitor your system. Make sure special arrangements are made for guests or repair technicians. Other causes for false alarms include:

  • Noise sources (i.e., compressors and time clocks)
  • Drafts that move plants and curtains
  • Open, unlocked or loose-fitting doors and windows
  • Banners/signs
  • Helium-filled balloons

Before activating your system:

  • Turn off all noise sources – radios, compressors, televisions, printers, etc.
  • Lock all protected doors and windows.
  • Keep banners/signs, balloons and fan heaters away from motion sensor areas.
  • Know how to cancel the alarm if the system activates.

How can I prevent false alarms?

  • Allow Sonitrol technicians to check and service your system regularly. Routine maintenance can help prevent many false alarms from occurring.
  • Notify Sonitrol immediately if you think your system is not working properly.
  • Make sure everyone who uses your security system understands how it works. Anyone who has a key to your facility should know how to operate your system.

What if my alarm goes off accidentally?

  • Determine if there really is a fire or an actual break-in.
  • Don’t panic – remember your code.
  • If the alarm was accidental, disarm your system.
  • Carefully press each number of your code. Practice, be prepared to reset.
  • After you’ve reset the system, call Sonitrol to report the accidental activation.
  • If your Sonitrol system is tying up your phone line, wait several seconds and try again or use an alternate phone.
  • Don’t leave your facility until you’ve spoken with Sonitrol personnel.

Be prepared!

  • Rehearse alarm cancellation with anyone who might use your system.
  • Make sure that anyone with a key to your facility knows how to operate your system.
  • Tell all users who to call when the alarm activates.
  • Keep your Sonitrol system instruction book and phone number handy.
  • Cancel all alarms that don’t need emergency response.