The words vandals and vandalism have historic roots stemming from the Vandals, a warmongering tribe that attacked Rome in 455 CE. Time hasn’t solved the problem: vandals and vandalism are still troublesome today, particularly for commercial property owners. 

“Vandalism seriously affects your business and property in many ways, so you can’t afford to ignore it,” says Matt Wildt, Technical Trainer at Paul Davis. “It harms your image in the community, lowers property values, rings up high repair costs, and – with a broken window, for example – can hurt people coming in contact with it.”

Fortunately, these 10 preventative measures dramatically lowers the risks and impacts of vandalism on your property. 

Understand why vandalism happens: Vandals do their dirty work for many reasons such as to punish a business, express negative emotions, communicate, show off or form bonds with a group, to name just a few. If your community is experiencing gang activity, boost security at your property. Ditto if labour relations are problematic in the area.

Don’t ignore it! If vandalism occurs, make repairs promptly. Damaged property attracts other vandals and raises risks of additional property crimes. Rapid response shows that you protect your property and won’t tolerate its destruction.

Contact authorities. Report all vandalism to your local police department. This helps officers respond appropriately by increasing patrols or implementing comprehensive approaches if local property crime rates are trending upward. 

Network among property owners. Get to know fellow property owners, ask them about vandalism and make a pact to be alert about all area properties. These conversations may reveal that certain vandalism types are more common or may identify riskier periods such as particular holidays, seasons and times of day. 

Join a business watch group. The business equivalent of neighbourhood watch groups, this group reduces vandalism by tasking owners to watch nearby properties and report disturbances. Don’t have a watch group? Many websites offer tips on forming your own. 

Keep property neat and clean. Disorder and debris attract vandals because it appears that the property isn’t cared for. Keep areas clear and free of debris through regular maintenance.

Light the area. Vandalism occurs far less often in well-lit areas because most vandalism happens at night. Check bulbs regularly and consider motion-activated fixtures.

Install cameras. Cameras serve a dual function: monitoring the property remotely and providing a visual record for law enforcement if vandalism does occur.

Consider shrubbery or fencing. Preventing unauthorized access to your property is key to preventing vandalism. Fences are ideal but shrubbery works as long as it’s the right type: sharp-leaved or thorny varieties preferred.

Reinforce your property. There are many measures you can take to fortify your property such as break-resistant glass, installing alarm systems and replacing wooden doors with steel units. Further, ensure that all tenants practise good security measures such as always locking doors, windows and gates before exiting.

Take steps now to prevent vandalism. If vandals damage your property, Paul Davis promises to be onsite within four hours of a call for help 24/7/365. Call 844.215.7898.