Tip of the Week: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
6 tips to reduce crime through proper lighting
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a multidisciplinary approach to preventing crime through the effective use of physical environment design elements. CPTED theories contend that law enforcement officers, architects, city planners, resident volunteers, and landscape and interior designers can create a climate of safety in a community right from the start. The goal is to prevent crime by designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior. The theory is based on four principles: natural access control, natural surveillance, territoriality, and maintenance. Primary in the decision to commit a crime is the offender’s belief that he or she can get away undetected or unidentified after the act. The application of CPTED design elements elevates natural surveillance and eliminates hidden areas where crimes can be committed without witnesses. One key CPTED design element is the appropriate use of lighting. With summer ending and our days becoming shorter, darkness occurs earlier in the day. Now is a great time to review your lighting plan to ensure you are effectively using lighting to deter criminal activity at your business or home.
Following are 6 tips to reduce crime through proper lighting:
1. Ensure all areas of the property have adequate lighting and eliminate deep shadows.
2. Eliminate blind spots caused by glare from shielding lights and ensure they have proper directional alignment.
3. Ensure pathway lights are of sufficient height to illuminate faces.
4. Eliminate dark spots in utility areas such as around storage buildings and dumpster bins.
5. Ensure motion activation devices detect pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
6. Ensure light timers are properly calibrated and change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time.
Proper illumination is important, not only in the deterrence of crime, but it also aids in the reduction of accidents and can help mitigate the risk of resulting litigation. Ensuring proper lighting as part of your personal or business security is an exercise well worth the effort.
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