Why Place a Security Barrier Around Business Property?

Many people wonder why on earth people would place a security barrier around the perimeter of commercial property. The entire reason that you open a business is to get strangers to come to the place and buy the goods you have for sale. If you have services for hire then you want clients to come to the establishment and hire you. A security barrier seems to discourage the presence of people other than the employees and owner of the establishment.

A security barrier around an establishment that sells items that are stored outside will make sense to almost everyone. The fencing is to keep unauthorized people from coming onto the property and walking away with merchandise without paying for it. It also keeps children and pets from being able to wander onto the property unsupervised and become injured by any of the materials the establishment has stored there. Most people do not question fencing around these businesses.

A security barrier around a business that provides service for the merchandise of others should also make good sense to the majority of people. If the establishment services or repairs things like cars, large appliances, or other things that are too large to store indoors you will want to provide as much protection to the property of your customers as you can. This will make people feel better about leaving their belongings in your care and it will make your liability insurance rates be cheaper. Theft deterrents like fire safety equipment can lower the amount you pay for insurance.

When you see a security barrier in place around a business that does not have things outside then these fences may not make sense to the average person. Once again you have to consider the insurance that commercial property has to have. If people are on commercial property and they trip or fall because of something that was on that property then they can sue the owner for any and all damages they sustain. That lawsuit can cover the medical costs of their injuries at the time of the accident and their medical costs related to the injury in the future. It can also cover any time they lose from work and it covers the pain and anguish they suffer. You also have to face the fact that there are individuals that make a living by lying and cheating. Placing a security barrier around the property stops the individuals from being able to claim that an injury occurred on commercial property when the owner or employees of the business were not present to witness the accident.

Unfortunately times have gotten so bad that people are actually stealing parts off of central air and heating units to sell as scrap metal. Copper brings a very high price at the salvage yard and people have actually begun to steal the copper tubing and the coils from these units. Almost all commercial properties including churches have these types of units to heat and cool the interior of the buildings. A security barrier simply protects the establishment from thefts like these.

Business Property Maintenance – 4 Quick Tips

Business property maintenance is different from maintaining and looking after a house. And that’s because the purposes of the two kinds of building are different.

A home is for comfort and relaxation. It’s there as a refuge from the outside world, where you can unwind after a stressful day. It’s a place for the family, and even if you entertain you really only have to keep major problems at bay in order to have a desirable residence.

It’s all subjective. But with business properties it’s very much objective. All kinds of visitors have to be catered for and satisfied, and on top of that there are usually laws, rules and regulations to be observed affecting the health and safety of all who work in or visit the building.

So if you are responsible for the maintenance of a business property here are four quick tips.

1. Cleanliness is vitally important in business property. If the property looks dilapidated and uncared for then it puts visitors off, and can adversely affect the businesses occupying the property. Never cut corners on cleaning and redecorating. There’s nothing like freshly decorated rooms to make visitors feel welcomed and workers feel appreciated.

In particular, unpleasant smells, such as of mould or dampness, should be dealt with, along with the underlying causes, immediately. If left unchecked they can have a devastating effect on all businesses in the building. Often the only real problem is a lack of ventilation, so make sure all windows are in working order and any ventilation shafts unblocked.

2. Business properties often have flat roofs. If this applies to you, arrange to have it inspected every couple of years at least. If rain seeps into an office building there’s more than just comfort and convenience at risk. If the electricity supply is affected whole businesses can grind to a halt, with all the resulting consequences of loss of business and profits. And in any event employees cannot be expected to work in conditions of damp or damp related damage, or where the air conditioning has failed.

3. Depending on the size of the building it can be cheaper to employ a full time caretaker to keep the place freshly decorated, clean and cared for, than to continually engage building and decorating contractors to put right defects as and when they arise.

4. Keep the outside and entrance ways fresh and clean. There’s nothing to put people off a business building they are visiting more than to have to contend with dirty, neglected exteriors and entrances. These should be checked every morning before everyone opens for business.

In particular, litter should be swept away and all door handles and glass work polished. Any defective lighting should be dealt with so that the whole area is bright and welcoming.

This is especially important where any of the units in the building are used for the sale or consumption by the public of food. Dirt and litter attract rats and mice, with all the disease associated with those rodents. Public Health Authorities have the power to shut down food shops and restaurants shown to have rodent infestation, leading to the failure of the businesses running them.

Business property maintenance is a serious business, but if you keep on top of it then your job will be much easier.

Covering Business Property at Home

Homeowner’s policies are designed for residential – not business – risks, so it’s no surprise that coverage for business personal property is minimal – typically $2,500 at home and $250 away. Also, there is usually a complete exclusion for business data – both on paper and electronic media.

The definition of business in most homeowner’s policies clearly includes your regular job. But does it include part-time jobs, home babysitting, or summer lawn jobs? Unfortunately, that’s subject to interpretation. Because the policies are vague, the courts have gotten involved: They’ve defined business, as
used in homeowner’s policies, to mean an activity that both earns revenue and is continuous.

So, a once-a-year garage sale would not be a business. But my friend Bobbie’s garage sales, which she’s conducted out of her garage for the whole neighborhood, once a month for 20 years, may be a business, and the $2,500 limit would apply. Similarly, your 12-year-old son’s use of your $600 lawnmower to do a few summer lawn jobs probably isn’t a business because it’s not continuous. But your 18-year-old son’s $10,000 investment in landscaping equipment, pulled on a utility trailer and used year round, may be a business.

If you have an incidental home office (with a desk, filing cabinet, computer, fax, and so on) and you telecommute from your regular job, you’re also subject to the business-property limitations of the policy.

If the business property coverage that comes with your homeowner’s policy (typically $2,500) is enough to replace all you own or use at home and you never take for-business items off-premises, you’re set. Just remember to read your policy and make sure you know what the dollar limit is.

If some of the business property at your home is owned by your employer and furnished for your use, see if your employer is covering it already or can cover it. You won’t need supplemental insurance if the items are already covered.

If you own substantially more than $2,500 worth of business property, or take more than $250 worth of business property away from home, or if you have a lot of business data at risk, here are some things you can do:

  • If you have more than $2,500 at risk at home, increase your business property on-premises coverage high enough to cover your exposure.
  • If you take more than $250 worth of business property out of your home, try to reduce the risk by taking less. Home insurers seldom offer an option to buy a higher limit. If they do, it’s pretty pricey. The one exception is laptop computers. If you own a laptop, you can avoid the $250 limit by scheduling the laptop – a strategy I recommend for every laptop owner. Be sure to include a business-use endorsement and get special perils coverage, because computers can be damaged easily through a variety of causes. The cost is only about $5 per $1,000 of coverage, with no deductible.
  • If you have business data at risk, the best strategy is to back up your data. Sure, you can buy optional data coverage when you schedule a computer, but re-creating lost data is such a hassle! You’re better off backing up and storing a copy of the backup away from home.