Protection for Vacant Facilities Case Study

Share On

IP – or Internet Protocol – technology is probably the hot issue in the security industry today. By using the power of the Internet and Intranet, IP-based cameras can take video surveillance to a new level.


Following the merger of two companies, one of the largest transportation service providers in the world was left with numerous vacant facilities. The Fortune 500 Company (hereafter referred to as the Company) maintains hundreds of mixed-use warehouse/office facilities, some of which are company-owned and some of which are leased on a long-term basis. To help reduce property crime, Johnson Controls was contracted to develop and quickly roll out a security solution to help protect the vacant properties until the leases expired, properties were sold or exchanged. Johnson Controls was already helping to protect many of the operational facilities for the Company.

Project Scope

The Company had more than 100 vacant properties dispersed throughout the U.S.—some being protected minimally by security guard personnel and others without any protection. As part of the financial plan to protect the Company’s assets, the Company decided to equip its properties with cost-effective, wireless intrusion detection solutions.


Many of the properties were susceptible to vandalism, vagrancy, destruction of property, theft of materials and graffiti. In the current economic downturn, theft of valuable materials—such as copper wiring and plumbing, windows and doors—was also becoming a problem. These crimes could potentially cost the Company millions of dollars since the cost of refurbishing a leased property before it can be released back to the owner ranges as high as $150–$200,000. The Company’s real estate division was tasked with finding a cost-effective solution that could be deployed rapidly to help protect the assets in these vacant properties. In addition, many of the sites lacked land line telephone service. The Company required nationwide installation on an accelerated timeline, expertise in technical integration, and commitment to meeting the Company’s expectations for local service and support.


Consolidated Needs Assessment and Installation

Due to the accelerated timeline and large geographic site map, the Company chose Johnson Controls to help them deploy a flexible and dynamic installation model. This model helped meet the Company’s need to quickly deploy a comprehensive solution. In just one trip, a Johnson Controls installation technician was able to survey the site, assess the unique challenges and then install the security system. This meant that although the Customer chose standardized systems, if requested, some sites could have additional components added—such as door or window contacts.

Standardized Wireless Intrusion Detection

At each site, a standardized, wireless intrusion detection system was installed to help protect defined areas of the perimeter and critical areas, such as the shop, office space and secured docks. Wireless technology was selected because many of the sites lacked land line telephone service.

Accelerated Deployment

With more than 200 locations, Johnson Controls' technicians were able to play an integral role to help ensure that a deployment of this scale could be completed on time. The installation teams were trained in advance on Company-specific procedures and protocols so they would be ready to go when the Company gave the go-ahead. This readiness, combined with Johnson Controls' national presence, allowed the Company to proceed with their accelerated deployment schedule.

Centralized Monitoring 24/7/365

The Company needed to ensure that the properties were being monitored around the clock, but they lacked personnel to manage this function. That’s why they chose Johnson Controls' leading-edge monitoring centers, with seven interconnected locations throughout North America, to help monitor the properties. Johnson Controls' team of trained professionals helps monitor the Company’s locations, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


The Company was satisfied with Johnson Controls' ability to meet their requirements for a national installation, to deploy on a tight timeline, to technically integrate the network of systems, to provide great local service and support and to monitor the locations 24/7.

Financially, the Company determined the deployment to be successful because they were able to install protection for approximately 100 sites for less than what it would have cost to refurbish just one leased property. In fact, not long after the initial deployment, the Company came back to Johnson Controls and asked Johnson Controls to assist them with another large number of installations. When completed, there will be a total of 150 locations.

To learn more about how Johnson Controls Transportation & Logistics can help your business, please contact 1-866-865-4728.

Information in this article is current as of June 2009, the publication date.

Share On