Burglary is a costly source of loss for many businesses, and can have a significant impact on your ability to serve customers. The following few steps designed to help prevent business burglary can go a long way toward protecting your investment.
Help prevent theft with interior lighting
Burglars like to work under the cover of darkness. Good interior and exterior lighting is one of the most effective deterrents against crime.
- Pay special attention to areas that are not in plain view where intruders often gain entry. Make sure lighting fixtures stay in good working order.
- Reduce the chance of breakage by paying attention to where light fixtures are placed, using lights in cages, and choosing durable products.
- Damaged or burned-out bulbs should be replaced immediately.
- Keep valuable merchandise illuminated but away from display windows, where goods can be easy targets for a 'smash and grab' — when thieves quickly break, grab, and flee.
A well-maintained exterior
Overgrown shrubbery, vehicles and trash dumpsters near buildings provide excellent cover for burglars. Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed away from windows and doors can help minimize hiding places around buildings.
- Exterior windows can be covered with burglar-resistant glazing, which provides the appearance of glass and increases security. Consult a security expert to find out more about glazing. Many window locks are simple latches that can be pried open. Ask a locksmith or security supplier about more secure window locks, such as hefty locks visible from the outside, a vinyl window lock along with a window alarm, or even window bars.
- Consider installing exterior doors constructed from solid-core wood or metal that fit tightly into the doorframe. Other burglary prevention tips include:
- A heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a heavy-duty strike plate can be installed using three-inch screws that penetrate the wall stud.
- A double-cylinder deadbolt lock can be used for doors with a small panel of glass.
- Add a doorjamb reinforcement for extra strength against an intruder trying to kick open the door.
- Side and rear doors should be made of solid wood or steel construction and installed in reinforced steel frames.
- Avoid using doors with hinge pins on the outside where they can be easily removed. Equip outward swinging doors with hinges that have non-removable pins.
- Secure overhead garage-type doors with padlocks on the roller channel.
Alarm and video monitoring
An alarm system is one of the best ways you can help protect your property against burglary. There are a variety of different alarms available, ranging from very basic local alarms to central station systems. Alarms can involve protection of the perimeter, area or object.
- Perimeter protection covers the outside surface of the building.
- Area protection covers an entire space or area — such as the inside of a building.
- Object protection covers a particular object—such as a safe.
Alarm systems offer a network of surveillance equipment that automatically notifies a central monitoring service when the system detects unauthorized intruders. Trained staff at the service will then contact both the owners and the authorities.
Video technology gets smaller, better and cheaper every year. For a modest investment, you can cover the perimeter of your business with video surveillance, and also digitally record substantial amounts of video. What you capture could help in catching a thief and retrieving your property.
Protect valuable items
Even if your business does not stock valuable items, consider the money or checks you routinely handle.
- Deposit large amounts of money in the bank as soon as possible, but if you must keep substantial amounts, keep them in a safe for protection from fire and theft.
- Safes are classified as either fire resistive or burglary resistive and are rated for performance by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
- Select a safe based on the valuables to be protected. A higher level of protection should be chosen for high value merchandise or large amounts of money.
- By anchoring a safe in a well-lit area, there's a better chance burglars will be noticed if they try to open or remove it.