Shop / Warehouse Security

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Gene $immons, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    For you guys who have a shop which is located away from your home, what security measures do you take. Outside of locking doors, and having a bright outside light at night.

    I have often wondered if it is worth it for a thief to want to break into a landscape maintenance warehouse? I mean, for the risk, what he would be trying to steal would be heavy and bulky if it were your equipment. So I think a burglar would be more likely to hit your tools and office equipment as it has a high enough value and is quick to steal, computers, checks, anything they could take fast. I think most big equipment theft would come from on the job site rather from your shop being robbed at night.

    What do you think of some of my ideas, Which of these sound like the best ideas to provide security and protect your tools and equiptment around a wharehose? And please tell me what has worked, and what has failed for you. Which of these would you want the most?

    1. Chain length fence with barb wire along the top surrounding building, having a swing gate at the entrance.

    2. Security alarm system, I imagine this is the most popular choice so lets hear what you have. There are many to choose from, but what kind? motion detector? One that has a loud siren or one that calls the police, how well do these work, how often has anyone had a problem with these?

    3. Avoiding office thefts, use a laptop which you can take home at night. Not leaving important papers with Social Security numbers left out for a thief to steal, what is the best way to secure paperwork? a heavy filing cabnet that locks or bolts down? Again, what are some of you doing to secure your data and paperwork?

    4 Securing your small tools, Bolted down locking tool boxes?

    5 What about securing your trailers inside the shop at night, and the daily mowers big and small that sit on them overnight. Should there be extra locks and chains?

    6. Guard dog, Okay, what is the pros and cons on this one, I kind of like this idea...but what is the reality on it. I would probably get a German Shepherd because they make a great watch dog and are intelligent. I would not like to get a more vicious animal. But is there a liability risk. The the dog would have to be kept away from your employees. Would a dog conflict with the security system? Or, could the dog live outside the shop if you had the fence?

    Thoughts on all of this?
  2. aklandscape

    aklandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Most people I know that have had break-ins were the result of the thieves being able to drive near or sometimes into the shop to load up. If you were able to have an alarmed gate and if it were permisable to do a good sized ditch on either side of the gate it would be a great deturent to break-ins. Most thieves are looking not to draw attention to themselves . So they may not want to leave a vehicle by the road. In general they aren't going to carry stuff to far either.
  3. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    Thanks for the reply aklandscape, I think your right, these guys want to get in and out quick and easy. Anything that can delay them, or cause them any more trouble the better.
  4. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    So.. I guess nobody has any security measures that they take.
  5. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    I unfortunately don't have a shop away from home (though I would like one). In my professional opinion as a Police Dept employee full time, loud sirens and bright lights are the best way to go. Get a decent alarm system that will monitor doors, windows and perimeter areas. Hook them in with lights for the yard, in addition to the ones that are on all the time. Motion lights are great, so are invisible beams connected with the lights. The other piece I would put on is a great siren, nice and loud, at the top of the building, that would go off when one of your building sensors was broken. Don't waste your money with monitored systems, they take too long to respond.

    Typical scenario in our city.: Business is broken into by whatever means, monitored alarm is tripped, 1 minute to disarm. After 1 minute alarm company is notified, calls you as first person on their list and asks if you want to respond because it is probably a false alarm, (99.9% of monitored alarm activations are false, true figure) then ask you if you would like the local police dispatched (another 2 minutes). Now the alarm company calls me (local PD) and after I put them on hold for 2 minutes because I have to answer 911 and am handling other calls, I spend 90 seconds taking the info on the call (address, phone numbers, activation points etc...) and disconnect. Now, if I have an officer available, I send him right away. My city is 120 square miles and 34 miles from one end to the other. Typically I may have 4-6 officers on duty, and we average a response time of 8 minutes, from time of dispatch. We'll call it 6 minutes since we are looking at the best case here (it happens occasionally). So, BEST case scenario, you are looking at 12.5 minutes for an officer to arrive on scene at your shop to catch the bad guys in the act... after they have made entry. I don't think this is something you want to pay $30/month for, at least I wouldn't. As soon as a criminal hears that siren, they'll be gone. Too much opportunity for a passer by to get curious, or a cop for that matter. Loud noises and light are your best option.
  6. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    heh.. reading this thread, an episode of Home Improvement comes to mind where Tim had this mega super security system.. lazers, "poison" gas, etc.

    I wonder if you had a sign plainly posted that stated "WARNING! SERIOUS INJURY AND/OR DEATH POSSIBLE FROM SECURITY SYSTEM" how many people would break in to your place.. And oh.. it would be setup that way. Run pressure sens. around your windows and doors. Rig up some canisters of tear gas or other irritant to these switches that will go into action when tripped.

    What sucks, is some criminals have gotten smart.. on prefabbed metal buildings, they will take a corless drill with them and unscrew the screws that hold the metal siding to the building and gain entry that way.

    Too bad it'd be illegal to have a powerful lazer system on the doors and windows that when the perps try to exit the building with their booty would somehow burn them severly.

    Sadly.. the law is on the side of the criminal now adays..
  7. J & B Lawncare

    J & B Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29


    When I build my shop there will be a tool cage inside it. They will have to bring their own tools to get to mine. I will not waste my money on an alarm. I worked for the county dispatch and know that alarms take 2nd place to just about all calls. The thefts in my area over the last 25 years usally hit the bigger mowers and even the travels. I will make it difficult to take them out the door. A dead pole in the middle of the floor will stop them, hard to cut the lock. Easy for me to deal with. Only other thing they can do is torch the pole or bust out the cement. If they get through that they are good dedicated crooks that know the buisness. I that case they will know what to do to get the stuff. But for 95 % of the crooks it will be too hard to steal.


    J & B
  8. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    I think the loud sirens, lots of lights, are a good idea, a good addition to this, would be a fence about 6-8' tall, and topped with barbed wire, plus some rottweilers, or dobermans for guards. in my experience, thieves dont generally want to mess with properties that have dogs on guard.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I definitely don't do enough. I wish I did. I just haven't taken the time yet. We have a coded lock on the door and the big barn doors are chained shut from the inside. I have purchased some imitation security cameras from eBay and I plan to install those soon and let all the employees know that the premises are "being monitored", as I suspect a theft we had a year ago was an inside job. But other than that, I don't do much. The one good thing I have going for us is that our shop is on someone else's property. And the guy we lease the shop from has a hoard of shot guns and a bad attitude. I am not kidding. So he sort of watches out for us. But he's not always there. Hence, we need security measures. I haven't implimented as many as I'd like to.

    I think the bigger risk is employees. They know the ins and outs of your setup. They know the security weaknesses. They know what's worth a lot and what isn't. They won't be suspect if they are seen at your shop. They often are looking to start their own business on the side or have friends in the industry who are looking for equipment. Etc. But I don't see the common theif stealing a big ZTR mower. What's he going to do with that? Not to mention, it's going to take him a long time to steal it. Theives want to be in and out quick. I'd worry more about checks, small tools, that kind of stuff.

    If you got the money, sure. Sounds like an expensive proposition. But I am sure that would deter most people.

    I think this is a great idea. Loud alarms will scare off most would-be theives. But I'll warn you with this - cops hate responding to most alarms. 99.99% of the time, they are false alarms. (My best friend is a cop, so is brother in law). BUT there is one brand that cops DO like - Sonitrol. The reason they like this company over the others is because there are very rarely any false alarms with this company. Sonitrol actually monitors the property audibly when they detect a break-in. That is, there is a microphone inside your premises and Sonitrol has a person who is listening in on the other end. They are listening for rustling, talking, banging, etc. If they hear anything that sounds like it is a real person moving stuff around, they alert the cops. Cops love to respond to Sonitrol calls because they know there's a good chance of catching a bad guy. Cops love action.

    Although my shop is 5 miles away, my office is actually in my house. I purposely bought a home with a really big bonus room so I could use it as an office. So I don't worry so much about this problem. Our house is secure at night. If I had an office there, I guess I'd make sure to have a safe. And I'd lock it up every night before I left. And I think I'd have file drawers that required a key. And two deadbolts on the office door that get locked every night. What more can you do?

    I don't know that a laptop is really important. I think if you just turn off the computer and make the computer so that you need a password to get into windows then you'd be fine. Most dumb theives won't be able to hack passed that.

    Not sure how necessary this is. If you impliment the other stuff (alarm, barb wire fence, good locks on doors, etc.) then what's the point in this? They aren't going to get past that bigger stuff.

    Same as my last reply.

    Haha. I've thought of this one too. But I couldn't do it. I think it's cruel. Dogs are pack animals. They are meant to be involved in a family unit. They are not meant to be outside, lonely and hungry and angry. Sure, that makes them more vicious. But it's not really a kind thing to do to a dog. I couldn't do it. I think the other measures would be good enough.

    There you have it. That's my 2 cents. Have a good one! :drinkup:
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    The LCO I used to work for had a shop in an industrial park. We had an alarm system w/motion detectors. We did also have a tool cage that could be locked up for additional protection, although it rarely was locked.

    Actually, we had very, very few false alarms. Also no break-ins in 10+ years. It helped that we were literally around the corner from a bar and a 7-11, so there was quite frequently police in the vicinity.

    Now, I don't know if this counts as a guard dog or not, but for a number of years there was a semi-homeless employee who more often than not would sleep in his car in the parking lot. A final line of defense...

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