1151 W MacArthur Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701
Report on Module 2: Building Security
The site that I assessed is Super 8 Motel located in 1151 W MacArthur Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701. The place is along a highway and in nearby strategic locations, such as the University of Wisconsin. The privately-owned building is for individuals, families, etc. (especially, travelers) who pay for lodging and related services (e.g., free breakfast). The primary users of the site are the public (for example, tourists, travelers, and other individuals).
II. Risk Analysis
The most likely perpetrators of violence at this site could be any crime offenders or lawbreakers, such as burglars, carjackers, and other lawbreakers. Any violators usually commit crimes whenever they have the opportunity to do so. They could injure or inflict harm to other people when they want to steal from the hotel and lodgers, get even, or out of sheer head-trip. The targeted victims could be the landlord or property owner, manager and other motel officials, attendants, lodgers, passerby, etc. The unintended victims could be anyone, such as the guests, travelers, roomers, and so on. The potential risks, on the other hand, are usually due to lack of preparedness for case like those just mentioned, inadequate security measures, and other contributory factors.
Many possible types of violence could occur inside the hotel and within its vicinity. Some untoward incidents could be trespassing, burglary, carjacking, theft, rape, homicide, murder, to name a few examples. The potential severity of violence occurring could be grave physical abuse, illegal detention, hostage taking, and so on depending on the nature of the criminals doing the violence. On the other hand, the probability of the occurrence of violence might depend on the previous history of crimes in the area, not to mention, how the socio-economic and political conditions of the community over the past several years have changed. Nonetheless, the occurrence of hostility could take anytime of the day depending on various factors such as security features of the building and its perimeters, dealings between staff and prospective customers of the hotel, and so forth.
Based on the results of my CPTED assessment of Super 8 Hotel, it mostly followed such principles as greater effort of prevention and risk of being challenged, as well as, lesser perceived rewards, which may imply less likelihood for individuals to commit a crime. The checklist findings point to the fact that prevention through problem solving could greatly aid in addressing crimes and disorders from occurring. I checked the statements applicable on the building and these are what I share:
First, in the Natural Surveillance section of the CPTED Checklist, the pathways allow for direct access into the building since it is a hotel. Likewise, there are proper signage in the entrances. The shrubs in front of the building are properly spaced and well-trimmed without obstructing views and/or without providing concealment to criminal elements.
Second, under Exterior Lighting section, the lighting and electrical equipment follow standard to prevent lawless individuals from climbing them. There are also automated locks for the doors of each unit, aside from the fact that the common hallways inside the hotel have good illumination.
Third, in Access Control section, there is a large signage for the name of the motel. Each of the units inside the building are properly and clearly numbered. The site of the building has its own website, aside from hyperlinks, to locate the site.
Fourth, in the Entrances section, there are directional design features for the different entrances and exits. Fifth, Landscaping considers the proper placement of vegetation and avoid secluded areas where lawless elements can hide. Sixth, in the Security and Signage section, there are security features and other safety measures for the parking spaces in front and at the back of the building.
Lastly, in the Maintenance section of the CPTED Checklist, there are maintenance on landscaping and prevention of vandalism. The whole place is free of litter as a sign of proper care and management.
Some of the design principles that were not followed in the building design are few. For instance, although Super 8 Motel is known within the community or nearby areas, it should be better if its front exterior side has address numerics. It is also better if the building has a perimeter fence that follows standard on crime prevention. Not only that, the place should likewise have security lighting surrounding the area. Moreover, the tree branches at the back of the building are thick and need pruning so that some of the windows of the units are not blocked from view.
A different building design could further enhance security if stand-off distance is provided, that is, using bollards, planter boxes, and/or low screen wall. Likewise, the interior of the hotel should have fire proofing insulation and resistive materials against potential collapse due to earthquakes, fires, etc. The staircases, emergency exits, etc. should also have self-luminescent markings. Likewise, most, if not all hotels, should already have computer-automated system against fire, burglary, and so on.
Further, some of the administrative measures to further enhance security in Super 8 Hotel is regular maintenance of the area and equipment. Hotel staff should be properly oriented and trained about security measures and features of the building. There should also be regular meetings and brainstorming among building staff, together with the head of the hotel, so that they could discuss other important issues concerning security enhancement measures.
On the other hand, some of the engineering controls regarding the design of Super 8 Hotel include the installation of perimeter fences and guard post for access control (for example, waiting area outside of the parking lot), surveillance (for example, CCTV), and detection (for example, break-glass sensors). The parking areas should have high-quality lighting to curtail break-ins or illegal entrance into premises.
There are other modern engineering controls regarding the design of buildings that Super 8 could implement. Given the affordability of modern technologies these days, Super 8 could make use of them. Examples include tracking of the number of accommodators and personnel inside and outside of the building and its perimeters. If there are intruders or violators, they can immediately be warned simultaneously with a call for help from police officers.
IV. Summary and Conclusion:
The main security risks that I identified at Super 8 Hotel are its lack of security fences, security personnel, and other security equipment, especially in its vicinity. It is an open area where anyone can just enter the parking lots. Although this is understandable given the nature of the business of the hotel, the security of travelers and guests should be of utmost consideration.
Moreover, the main things that are good about the current building security at Super 8 include the reinforced concrete lift shafts. The exterior of the hotel has no landscaping obstructions such that concealment is not fostered. The shrubs outside the building are properly trimmed and spaced between corners. Thus, the overall natural surveillance is good because entrance into the building is well-illuminated such that they are visible to pedestrians, prospective accommodators, and police patrols. Similarly, the parking areas are visible to patrol cars, parking attendants, building staff, pedestrians, and other individuals.
As a hotel that accommodates any individuals, it should have a computer system that has link to law enforcement departments or agencies. Without violating the rights of a person, individuals who are hiding from the law could be found should they be in the vicinity of or check in the hotel. This is possible only if there are facial recognition cameras installed in the parking spaces, entrance of the building, and its hallways. Moreover, there should be a sufficient number of parking attendants and security personnel for maximum protection of hotel guests and their properties. Further, there should be a separate parking for guests and employees for sufficient territorial reinforcement.
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