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Prevent Business Burglary
You’ve worked hard to grow your business dream. Stay proactive and keep everything you've worked for safe with these tips for preventing a burglary.
Create a routine. There’s something to be said for routines. Opening and closing should have a routine that encompasses all of your security features. This way you and your employees will remember to lock all of the doors and secure any merchandise or exterior buildings when leaving at night. A routine check of the facilities upon opening will also alert you to any problems immediately.
Lock it up. Ensure exterior doors have deadbolt locks and are constructed of metal or solid-core hardwood. If you have glass doors, use burglar-resistant glass. If you have outward swinging doors, check to see what type of hinges you have. Ones with removable hinge pins give burglars almost instant access — right through the door. A quick change to non-removable pin hinges and you’ve closed that option for good!
Who has keys? Having a key to your business is a big responsibility. Entrust keys only to the most diligent employees for safekeeping. Keeping track of your keys and who has them is a very easy way to protect your business. But you could even go a step further. Consider installing keyless entry systems that can be changed if an employee leaves or can be updated on a regular basis. This way you don’t have to worry about a key being copied and landing in the wrong hands.
Access control. Take your key control to the next step with smart access control. If you don’t have customers coming in and out, this could be a high-tech solution designed for your business security. Personal codes and some pre-defined limits let you control when an employee is allowed in your business. You can also remotely lock and unlock your doors and receive notifications when that door is accessed.
Reinforce entry points. Do you have areas that could be used as an entrance by a determined thief? Installing bars, grills or grates over windows, skylights and HVAC openings can give those unusual entry point the added security they need.
Secure your perimeter. Remove bushes or other landscaping around doors and windows to eliminate hiding places. Leaving ladders out in the open lets thieves use your own tools against you. Stacking pallets, boxes and crates on the side of your building can serve as a great impromptu ladder — so make sure to do a walk around to see if you’ve inadvertently created new access points. If it makes sense, install a locking fence around the property to further discourage trespassing.
Use lights. Light the inside and outside of your business around doors, windows, skylights and roofs — especially at night. If you have areas that are not in plain view, these spots deserve a little extra attention and the spotlight.
Let’s not ignore the power of the motion light. A sudden flood of light can startle a burglar and encourage them to leave the premises — quickly!
Reduce the risk of having your lights broken by purchasing lights with durable housing or cages that protect the bulbs. And don’t put off changing that burned out bulb, you’ll see your diligence pay off here with simple maintenance.
Watch your displays. If you have valuable merchandise in displays, you’ll want to add extra protection or security to those areas. If your display window holds merchandise, your best bet may be to remove it or cover it up at night to discourage smash and grab thieves.
Lock up or deposit money. Thieves can’t take what they can’t get. Install durable safes that cannot be removed from the premises. Or, better yet, make a deposit each night so the money is out of your hands. If you don’t like the idea of driving with that much money at night or having your employees do it, check with your local banks. There’s a good chance that some of the banks offer a pick-up service toward the end of the business day.
Sound the alarm. There are two basic types of alarms – audible and silent. An audible alarm sounds a siren or bell when a break-in is attempted. The sound removes the element of stealth and scares off an intruder. A silent alarm sends a signal to an offsite location, enabling private security or law enforcement to respond and maybe even catch the burglar in the act.
Use employee panic alarms. If you or your employees ever have to work alone, you’ll appreciate the security of a panic button. There are even apps available that you can use to quietly and quickly signal for help from your own phone. Personal panic alarms are also a wonderful layer of protection in case there is an accident and you need help, especially when you’re working alone.
Use video surveillance. Today’s video technology ranges from very simple to incredibly dynamic and complex. You get to pick just the right protection for your needs! There are two sets of thought with video cameras in business; let them see that they’re being taped or record them secretly. The first concept uses the video surveillance system as a deterrent in itself, by letting people know they’re being watched. The second approach secretly records people committing crimes and uses the technology to find them later or to signal authorities to catch them in the act. The good news is you don’t have to decide which approach you want to use, you can marry them together and come up with a hybrid approach that is customized for your unique business situation.
Hire a patrol company. Having a watchman onsite is a huge deterrent. If hiring a security company feels too pricey, consider contacting other, local businesses to see if they’d like to split the expenses. If crime is on the rise or there have been burglaries in the area, you may get a lot of interest from your neighborhood business community.
No matter how much effort you put into burglary prevention, sometimes it can’t be prevented — but you can protect your business. Having the right business insurance for your unique situation gives you the peace of mind you need to know that if the unexpected happens, you’re covered. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to get the protection you need.