With the summer right around the corner, many homeowners will be leaving their home and heading out on summer vacation getaways.
Whether a homeowner plans to be away for a day or several months, ASAP security personnel will ensure that the home is secure and complies with any insurance policy rules for vacant property. Many homeowners are not aware that standard home insurance frequently does not cover damage incurred while a home is vacant if it is not inspected on a regular basis. ASAP security personnels will visit the residence on a predetermined schedule to monitor all plumbing, electrical, and mechanical components of the home. During each visit, they look for unusual activity or suspicious persons in the area as well as functional problems such as water leaks or damage. This ASAP service is also a vital option for individuals with seasonal residences.
For more information on Residential Watch services click here.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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: www.asapsecured.com.
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: www.asapsecured.com.
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: www.asapsecured.com
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.
Are you aware of the suspicious behaviours associated with retail theft? See our list below of the 10 Suspicious Behaviours Associated with Retail Theft!
- Suspect(s) carrying empty and/or large shopping bags.
- Suspect(s) entering stores with backpacks or duffle bags.
- Suspect(s) taking merchandise to restrooms.
- Suspect(s) dressed in heavy clothing and unseasonal attire to help conceal stolen goods.
- Suspect(s) shopping with strollers and/or carts.
- Suspect(s) piling stacks of merchandise.
- Suspect(s) looking at ceilings and cameras.
- Suspect(s) overly friendly and asking a lot of questions as a distraction tactic.
- Suspect(s) paying more attention to staff and their location then the actual merchandise.
- 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.