Property owners in Florida owe a duty of care to provide adequate security measures and protect people they invite onto their properties. However, what constitutes adequate security in Florida depends on the circumstances and is not always clear.
In some scenarios, property owners may be required to take more action than in others. A Florida lawyer with experience handling negligent security cases may be able to provide guidance regarding the required measures in your particular situation. A well-versed negligence security lawyer can help you throughout the legal process to get you the justice you deserve.
Premises Liability and Negligent Security
A property owner’s duty to provide adequate security stems from the concept of premises liability. This concept holds property owners liable in situations where they fail to remedy a dangerous condition that causes harm to those they welcome onto their properties—in other words, customers and tenants.
An example of dangerous conditions could include when criminal acts occur on someone’s property due to negligent security. In such a situation, a property owner could be held liable for the actions of third parties over which they had no control. For that reason, this form of liability has some limitations.
Generally, the greater the degree to which a property owner should have foreseen a risk, the greater their duty to provide measures to counteract that risk. The amount of action needed to constitute adequate security in Florida increases if there is a greater foreseeable likelihood of dangerous criminal activity on the property.
Security Measures That May Be Required
Because convenience stores are so frequently the sites of robberies and other crimes, state lawmakers enacted certain security requirements for these establishments in Florida Statutes §§812.173 and 812.174. These measures include:
- Security cameras that record and store images
- Cash management devices such as drop safes
- Lighting in parking lots that meets a specific standard of intensity
- Maintenance of an unobstructed view from the sales area to the outside
- A ban on window tinting that would reduce line of sight
- A silent alarm linked to law enforcement or a private security agency
- Proper training on security measures for employees
- In some situations, a security guard
Convenience stores that meet all the requirements of these statutes are granted a presumption against liability for negligent security under Fla. Stat. §768.0705. However, any such presumption may be overcome with a showing of sufficient evidence.
The issue of what constitutes adequate security in Florida also hinges on the measures needed for a particular site. Certain stores or apartment complexes might need security fencing, guards, gates, or other such measures to provide adequate security. Failure to provide adequate security or to keep security devices in proper working order could provide grounds for civil liability based on negligent security.
Seek Further Information About Inadequate Security in Florida
While some property owners may be required to provide security guards, high-powered lighting, security fencing, and camera systems, others may only need to ensure that lighting is effective and locks are working. The means needed to fulfill security requirements depend largely on the history of criminal activity on the property and in the immediate area.
It is important that property owners not only implement adequate security measures but also keep existing security devices in working condition. An experienced attorney can help you determine what constitutes adequate security in Florida in any given situation.
Speak to a member of our team today.