Negligent security arises whenever security measures are nonexistent, broken, ineffective, or inadequate. When negligent security is an issue, visitors, guests, tenants, and residents of a property can become injured or killed by criminal activity. Crimes as serious as assault, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and rape can result due to poor security measures on the premises.
A property owner who fails to protect against foreseeable crimes may be held liable through legal action for the injuries their negligence caused.
5 Common Examples of Negligent Security
Any failure to reasonably anticipate and prevent crime on a property can be considered negligent security. Below are listed five examples of negligent security often seen in premises liability cases.
1. Missing or Broken Building Security Measures
Buildings should be secured so that thieves, trespassers, and others with harmful intent do not have access. These security measures must be functional and effective at barring intruders from entry. Weak building security measures that allow potential criminals to enter a private area include:
- Broken windows
- Missing or non-functional security cameras
- Broken locks
- Locks not changed between tenants
- Open doors and gates
- Broken window latches
- Missing fence posts
Part of a property owner’s duty is to regularly patrol and survey the premises to ensure everything is in working order. If the owner notices a broken lock or damaged surveillance camera, for example, it is their responsibility to fix it in a timely manner.
2. Inadequate Lighting
Many people are surprised by how important lighting is to property security. But if you’re doubting whether adequate lighting has any effect on safety, just consider walking alone to your car at night in the pitch dark.
Lighting is important because it not only deters criminal activity but also makes the grounds safer for use. Without proper lighting, visitors and residents may fall and injure themselves, especially in stairwells.
Adequate lighting means:
- Enough lights of sufficient wattage to effectively brighten the area
- No dark patches around corners, in stairwells, and near doorways that leave room for hiding places
- No broken bulbs or burned-out lights that go unrepaired
3. Insufficient Security Personnel
Security guards are an essential element of property safety for many locations. Large event spaces, schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, malls, and other locations benefit from the added security a team of trained professionals provides.
Property owners must understand the needs of their establishment based on factors such as size, clientele, location, and past incidences of violence or accidents on the property. Using this information, they must build a security team that can effectively manage any situation that may arise.
Insufficient human security may involve:
- Not enough security guards
- Security guards only stationed on duty during limited hours
- Security guards who have not been given the training to handle emergency situations
- Security guards who have not been outfitted with the tools and resources to protect the public
- Poor background check policies that allow for the hiring of unsuitable or dangerous individuals
4. Failure To Perform Adequate Check-In Screenings
There should be measures in place to prevent potential criminals from passing unnoticed into a building. This is especially true for places that house and provide care to vulnerable individuals like children, ill patients, and the elderly. Proper check-in protocol is, therefore, of utmost importance at places such as schools, daycares, hospitals, and nursing homes. Residential facilities, including hotels and apartment complexes, should also be carefully guarded to prevent unwanted trespassers.
Depending on the type of property in question, the following may be considered negligent screening measures:
- No metal detectors when needed
- No guards stationed at doorways when needed
- Failure to request ID
- Failure to ask for tickets at a concert, museum, theater, or other limited-access event
- Not checking bags and backpacks upon entry
- Not asking visitors to sign in or leave a name when visiting residents
5. Failure To Anticipate and Prevent Criminal Activity
Property owners cannot protect their premises properly when they do not take the time to evaluate the needs of the property. Information such as that listed below must be analyzed and considered when making a security plan to protect visitors and residents:
- Recent crime trends
- Local crime statistics
- Past incidents on the property
- How nearby businesses of a similar type handle security
- Any employee or resident who may attract criminal activity for a certain reason
- Any visitors, customers, or clients who may pose a threat or draw criminal activity
Where Do Negligent Security Cases Commonly Occur?
Any business or property with negligent security measures opens itself up to dangerous situations that can cause the injury or death of a person. There is no limit to the types of locations that can suffer a negligent security incident, but there are some locations that are more commonly seen in premises security cases than others. Those include:
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Nightclubs, bars, and restaurants
- Alleyways between buildings
- Apartment complexes
- Gas stations
- Malls and shopping centers
- Airports and transportation stations
- Large event venues, arenas, and stadiums
- Government buildings
- Office buildings
- Schools, colleges, and universities
What To Do After an Injury Caused by Negligent Security in Baltimore
If you were injured in an incident caused by negligent security on someone else’s property in Baltimore, you have the right to take legal action that can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, mental health care, and other losses stemming from your injury.
Negligent security is a serious issue that has the potential to cause great harm to many people. At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we represent victims of crimes that should have never been allowed to happen. When a property owner violates their legal duty to keep you safe, you have rights.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options for recovery. A skilled and compassionate negligent security attorney will sit down and discuss your case with you without any fee or obligation.