As a private investigator in my home state of Oregon I frequently get hired to look-into “things.” Many of my cases involve some type of theft or fraud and I often have success in identifying the culprit and recovering the stolen property. Because of my background in physical security I not only “investigate” things after they occur, but I can also assess a client’s security needs and provide them with practical and cost-effective actionable security advice. Hopefully, by improving security measures they will never have a need to call me again to investigate something. Prevention is a thousand times better than spending the time and money to investigate something “bad” that has already happened.
Some small businesses and individuals don’t see the value in hiring a security consultant who just offers common garden-variety advice based on so-called “best practices.” And, some security consultants are inclined to suggest complicated “high-tech” measures that might actually be great but are usually beyond the budget of many small businesses and individuals.
The goal of a good physical security consultant is to blend tried-and-true “best practices” with technology and balance the effectiveness of the security measures against the cost to implement and maintain them. One way to do this is to incorporate simple inexpensive security measures that can produce effective results. In a previous article Outdoor Security Lighting: Consider Going Blue I wrote about how I have effectively used blue illumination security lighting instead of the prosaic white light to deter crime and create a sense of safety.
When it comes to security signage I often recommend signs with menacing looking eyeballs. These signs subconsciously attract attention and utilize the psychology of compliance. There is emerging evidence that this type of signage is more effective than regular security signage and can have a deterrent effect even when there is no actual surveillance camera. There are even some newer security cameras on the market in the prominent shape of human eyeballs. Some of these “eyeball” cameras even have tracking ability so the eyeball camera can track the trespasser as they move about. A pair of menacing eyeballs moving as the “target” moves can cause someone up to no good to leave the area. One of the better studies on “Watching Eye” signage was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Proper security signage can be a high-impact and cost-effective means of gaining compliance and dissuading crime. These signs work 24 hours a day and strategically placed and illuminated with blue light, can be a cost-effective part of a layered security system.