It would be hard to get through a day without signs. From road signs to restroom signs, they’re everywhere. And they play a big part in simply navigating our lives.
More than that, signs are critical to operational success. Signs can improve business efficiency, and operational safety, among other things. They also serve a principal role in a site’s overall safety and security strategy.
Integrating Signs with CPTED
Signage is an important component of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) strategy. While it is just one component and its capabilities are limited, a site’s signage is the first thing someone at your site sees. It also serves an important role in the overall efficiency of your site.
Signs tell people who’s allowed, when operations take place, where to go, what and what not to carry in, and so much more. And all of these things affect your site safety.
5 Factors for Effective Signs
It’s important to take a thought out approach to the signs at your site. Taking time to think through sign design and messaging, as well as location and maintenance, can be the difference between a safe site and added risk.
Here are some basic tips for addressing the five components of effective signage for security:
1. The Appearance of Your Signs
- The signs on your site should be standardized whenever possible.
- Use clear, concise wording to ensure your message is easily read.
- Use consistent design elements, and readable text to make sure it can be understood quickly. Every sign should be clearly visible as such from a distance.
2. Sign Visibility
- Keep your signs well lit whenever possible. Addresses, especially, will need to be visible after hours and in poor weather conditions. This is even truer if members of the public will be accessing your site during poor weather conditions or dark hours.
- Shapes and words should be large enough to be legible from several yards away. Try to use contrasting colors so that your sign doesn’t blend in with the area around it.
- Simple shapes and standardized symbols will help those using the signs to understand what they mean quickly. This also helps keep your site looking professional.
- Include adequate information such as clear directions, warnings or maps.
- Aid messaging with clear images or symbols as needed.
- Choose brevity when possible.
- Use professional language and universal symbols.
- Keep signs clean and clear of graffiti, grime, and wear that make signs unreadable.
- Remember unkempt signs also convey a sense of disrepair or abandonment.
- Know that dirty or vandalized signs feel unwelcoming to the people you serve and welcoming to vandals or miscreants.
- Place signs at entrance points and near activity (intersections, hallways, etc.)
- Install your signage at eye-level height for the best chance of being seen
- Maintain landscaping surrounding your sign as needed to keep it visible at all times
Signage Security Applications
Knowing what it takes to make your signs effective is important. Applying this knowledge for your security applications is even more important. The most common sign applications for site security are control signs and warning signs.
Control signs label your access points to help you maintain appropriate access to the site. Keep unwanted people out and help the right people get where they need to be. The most basic functions of control signs are to:
- Control authorized entry
- Deter unauthorized entry
- Help prevent accidental entry
Warning and Caution signs
Warning signs ensure intruders know they are not welcome. To protect your perimeters properly, these warning signs should follow the following general rules:
- Installation along physical barriers
- Displayed at each entry point
- Visible to people approaching the perimeter
- Written in the most common local languages
- Situated at intervals of no more than 100 feet
There are several other sign types that can help you control site security. These signs should be legible under normal conditions at no less than 50 feet from entry. They can inform entrants or occupants of important details such as:
- Hazardous conditions
- Search provisions
- Other conditions of entry or use
- Identifying safety and fire protection equipment
Improving Your Security with Signs and More
To keep your signs effective, you need to conduct regular security assessments. Evaluate whether your indoor and outdoor signs are doing their job.
If you need help with a risk analysis, find a trusted security professional to help you identify weaknesses and ensure your signs are still appropriate for your risks.
Whenever a new hazard or risk is introduced, review your signage plan and make adjustments as needed. And for safety signs, always make sure you’re OSHA-approved.
Even with a comprehensive, up-to-date signage plan that keeps CPTED principles in mind, you may not be fully prepared or protected.
Consider Mobile Remote Video Surveillance
One option for securing operations any time of night or day is mobile video surveillance.
Mobile video surveillance works in conjunction with your security and safety signage to:
- Deter intrusion, theft, and other criminal behavior
- Identify unsafe or illegal activity
- Alert you and/or local law enforcement
- Monitor regular working conditions
- Store important video footage
Mobile Video Guard’s site security cameras and remote video surveillance allow you to see your site from afar at all times.
Our mobile surveillance units are uniquely designed to be appropriate for a variety of situations.
Monitored site surveillance using a mobile camera setup is especially good for when:
- Full video surveillance system installation isn’t a good fit
- Your operations are in remote locations
- Your facilities are open, or in harsh conditions
- You need short-term video monitoring
Add a layer of security to your site with specially trained site security specialists watching your site from afar.
The presence of a camera itself joins your signs in lessening the opportunity for crime. But when intrusion happens, only a responsive detection and alarm system like Mobile Video Guard can prevent loss and truly protect your operations.