Things to Consider When Securing a Multi-Tenant Site After a Large Loss

Fire scenes often involve all types of public entities: emergency medical, law enforcement, and fire services. Public utilities such as gas and electric companies may also be involved. Passersby, owners, tenants, customers, delivery agents all may have relevant information on what happened. The press and curious individuals attracted to large fire scenes can complicate investigations, making security a necessity. All of these entities can cause a large loss to spiral out of control very quickly.

Increased complications occur when the loss is at a multi-tenant site due to:

  • Multiple tenants involved
  • Several insurers involved
  • Multiple points of access
  • The mitigation takes longer
  • Property managers could be involved
  • Numerous experts onsite as well as various agencies
  • Higher exposure to liabilities
  • Tenant safety issues
  • Problems with asbestos
  • Fire watches may be required
  • Escorting and tracking systems may be necessary

When more people have access to the site, protecting the valuables that survived a fire becomes more of a concern. Theft of even the smallest item can impede evidence continuity in a case. If an insured wants to return to a scene to recover belongings, their every move must be authorized and recorded, to protect evidence for court. A well-secured scene ensures all items remain onsite and undisturbed until the insurance investigation is complete. A security presence also deters intruders who could be injured and become a liability risk.

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3 Key Technology Trends in Retail & The Security Risks

With all of the technology available for improving security and the customer service experience, loss prevention remains staggeringly high. Retailers can improve the customer experience through technology while also understanding how to mitigate the security risks technology can create.

Below are some key technology trends retailers are implementing, but they still need to have checks and balances.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition systems can benefit retailers by identifying when key clients are in the store, recognizing when a suspect has trespassed and identify recurring shoplifters.

Retailers must remember they still require a trained professional to review and analyze the facial recognition system at all times. They also need to have a support team to act on potential threats. Even when facial recognition technology is programmed correctly, there is still the possibility of errors to occurring for various reasons such as disguises, image clarity, power outages, etc.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards make a great gift or reward, but it has also created a criminal industry that is on the rise. Some retailers are no longer accepting prepaid cards as a form of payment.

Retailers and financial institutions are looking into checks and balances to support the customer, hoping to continue the use of prepaid cards.

Self-Payment Systems

Self-payment systems are beneficial for grocery and big box stores, but retailers still need to have physical security presence, aside from technology, to help monitor purchases to avoid shoplifting or accidental theft.

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Fire Scene Security: The Importance of Preserving the Continuity of Evidence

Public safety is but one reason to have good, attentive security personnel guard a fire scene once authorities wrap up. Evidence that could be critical to a claim adjuster’s case is also at stake. Since the fire-fighter’s suppression of the blaze itself has already contributed to the demise of evidence, it is even more imperative to protect what is left. The issue of diligently protecting evidence in the interest of insurers is a relatively recent concern. Several court cases in Canada and the United States have penalized insurance companies for a lack of due diligence in protecting evidence, which ended in bad-faith judgements against insurers. In Canada, industry specialists point to an award against Pilot Insurance for $1 million in punitive damages for bad faith in refusing to pay out on a Haliburton family’s home, in part due to the company’s failure to produce credible evidence to support its suspicion of arson. In the United States, a number of similar rulings, along with a heightened concern over fire scene management in general, led to the release of the 79-page Fire and Arson Scene Evidence: A Guide for Public Safety Personnel. In the guide’s preface, Janet Reno, U.S attorney general at the time of its publication, writes: “Actions taken at the outset of an investigation at a fire and arson scene can play a pivotal role in the resolution of a case.” She continues, “Careful, thorough investigation is key to ensuring that potential physical evidence is not tainted or destroyed or potential witnesses overlooked.”

In a section called “Identify, Collect and Preserve Evidence,” the guide encourages fire officials to notify insurers as early as possible when a fire appears to be accidental and to “establish and maintain strict control of access to the scene” to ensure evidence integrity.

The timely arrival of reliable, private security personnel on a scene, to assist an adjuster once authorities are done, is pivotal to successful claims management.

To learn more about ASAP Secured please visit:

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Three Benefits to Having a Mobile Command Centre On-Site

A Safe and Private Meeting Room

A mobile command centre enables insurers to mitigate a loss on location effectively. It allows for spontaneous and confidential meetings between adjusters, engineers, and homeowners directly on-site. This can be particularly valuable in the event of a large-scale loss where immediate and confidential dialogue is critical.

Portable and Personal Office Space

Why go back and forth from your office to the site when you can have a fully operational office right on-site? A mobile command centre is equipped with a desk and chair, a large whiteboard, an Internet-ready computer, printer, and scanner, as well as air conditioning and heating units.

An Extra Layer of Protection

With security signage and decals on the outside of the command centre, it serves as a significant visual deterrent to potential criminals.

ASAP Secured has a 15-foot mobile command centre that can be rapidly deployed to select large loss sites across Ontario, allowing adjusters and other insurance industry professionals the ability to offer immediate assistance to their customers during a crisis or disaster.

To learn more about ASAP Secured and the mobile command centre, please visit:

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4 Tips for Loss Prevention in Retail

With the holiday season is fast approaching, retailers need to ensure loss prevention practices become part of their everyday routine.

Security is not an illusion – meaning your customers need to know that you are a security-minded store. All personnel must be included in your security program. Having security presence is also a great way to deter and prevent theft. Customers do not enter a store with the intent to steal – 80% of robberies happen when a customer sees an opportunity.

Below are some additional tips:

  • The best theft deterrent is great customer service
    • Thieves do not like attention and need to be left alone to have the opportunity to steal
  • Identify key areas of concern and turn them into hot zones for customer engagement
    • Ensure all employees know which areas are the highest priority
    • Identify the areas on a store map if available
    • Ask employees to walk through the hot zones frequently
  • Treat everyone who walks through your doors as a potential customer
    • Thieves will not always exhibit the same behaviour – train all staff to approach each person and offer great customer service
  • Make it apparent to thieves that you take security seriously and ensure the measures you have in place are well displayed

To learn more about how ASAP Secured can help with loss prevention please visit:

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Three Benefits to Securing a Large Loss Site

Fires, by their destructive nature, consume the evidence of their initiation and progress as they grow. Often investigations are compromised, and scenes are further destroyed unintentionally by fire services, emergency medical and law enforcement whose primary responsibility is to save lives and protect people and property against further damage. The press and curious individuals attracted to large fire scenes can also complicate investigations and damage evidence, making security a necessity.

Below are three benefits to securing a large loss site:

  • Having security on a large loss site gives the adjuster time to review the policy, check their limits, find the named insured, and see if there are any exclusions in the policy. It also allows for the adjuster to get the right experts on the scene and seek legal advice if necessary. Time spent at the beginning of a claim can drastically speed up the process, making both the client and insurance company extremely satisfied.
  • Security also allows adjusters the ability to determine the liability and to prevent any further liability from occurring, while at the same time addressing any safety issues that may be present.
  • Lastly, security allows the adjuster to identify and address subrogation potential and to keep the continuity of any evidence. Insurers must demonstrate to the courts that proper procedures were established to preserve the continuity of evidence. If the site is not protected, unauthorized people entering the scene could remove or damage evidence that may be key to the insurance company’s case to determine liability or to seek subrogation.

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10 Suspicious Behaviours Associated with Retail Theft

Are you aware of the suspicious behaviours associated with retail theft? See our list below of the 10 Suspicious Behaviours Associated with Retail Theft!

  1. Suspect(s) carrying empty and/or large shopping bags.
  2. Suspect(s) entering stores with backpacks or duffle bags.
  3. Suspect(s) taking merchandise to restrooms.
  4. Suspect(s) dressed in heavy clothing and unseasonal attire to help conceal stolen goods.
  5. Suspect(s) shopping with strollers and/or carts.
  6. Suspect(s) piling stacks of merchandise.
  7. Suspect(s) looking at ceilings and cameras.
  8. Suspect(s) overly friendly and asking a lot of questions as a distraction tactic.
  9. Suspect(s) paying more attention to staff and their location then the actual merchandise.
  10. Suspect(s) moving merchandise from it’s original area to a lower visibility area of the store. Typically a less travelled or low visibility area of the store.

Learn more by watching our retail theft webinar, click here. To learn how ASAP Secured can help fight retail theft visit:

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Logistics in Security


Implementing security measures at public events is always a challenge. The amount of delay and inconvenience caused by security needs to be weighed against the visitors’ experience and the overall goal of the event. At sporting events, games are ongoing throughout the year and security has the advantage of experimenting with different measures and improving upon methods where needed. For a ‘one off’ event, it is more difficult as there is only one chance to get it right.

On Canada Day in Ottawa, many people wanted to get to Parliament Hill to see the festivities. The security inside the Parliamentary precinct was the responsibility of the RCMP and the Parliamentary Protective Service, which also managed the lines and screening stations. Some people waited three to four hours in line waiting to get on Parliament Hill. Some people breezed through security, but others were left angry and frustrated. Many took to social media or contacted newspapers with their complaints such as “Ottawa should be embarrassed,” “Shame on Ottawa,” and “Ottawa failed its tourists”.

Darlene Macartney of Toronto complained of disorganization and poor services for those waiting in line. “You wanted us to come to Ottawa. We came. We spent over the top exorbitant prices for hotel rooms,” she wrote. “We got up early in the rain to line up for what we thought might be two hours to get onto Parliament Hill. No. We waited 5 and a half hours with no exaggeration,” Macartney wrote.

The capacity for screening was not adequate to deal with the number of visitors and the times at which they arrived. Ottawa had aimed to screen 8,000 people per hour with two screening stations, but that was based on the expectation people would arrive dressed for summer weather. In fact, they came in rain gear, many with backpacks, food, and drinks since there was no food available in the area.

Logistic principals could have been improved upon by eliminating bottlenecks in line. Perhaps, the two screening stations should have been more flexible and either increased capacity or added a third screening station to deal with the peak in demand.

I think the screening protocols were well thought out, and instructions were clear, so changing these to speed the process up would not have been a good idea. This would have created an increased risk, which would not have been acceptable.

On a positive note, Canada Day’s celebrations were enjoyed without any major incidents, and the security was sufficient.


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Ontario Minimum Wage Increase and the Security Industry


Ontario’s pay rate increase is legislated to take effect January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019. Maybe this is perfect timing to discuss the security industry. The goal of all security companies is to recruit best in class security guards. I think it is time for the industry to get the opportunity to re-define the security profession. Back in 2002 when I started in the industry, I recall there used to be a line of candidates in the office wanting to become security guards. Today this does not happen anymore! The ministry has changed the licensing requirements. So, to even be considered, the ministry has mandated that applicants invest 40 hours of training, pay to register and get their security licence.

This can cost a perspective security professional in upwards of $350.00 to get licensed. In addition, if the applicant is currently employed in a different sector, the candidate would have to take numerous days off for training to qualify for the license. What would motivate someone to invest in this process? Maybe it is time for security services to take a hard look and re-evaluate its process and pay grade and collectively set the benchmark for the industry to bring back applicants knocking on our doors.

Please comment on this post as I welcome any feedback.

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