You've worked hard to build your business. You've made tough decisions and dodged countless pitfalls. Nevertheless, don't let the excitement of moving forward distract you from the present: what are you doing to protect what you've built?
Beyond the physical damage that burglaries, robberies, floods, and fires cause, the interruption to your normal business operations is devastating. Luckily, many of these unexpected setbacks are preventable.
Follow these guidelines to help prevent loss as well as to help your business get up and running again, as quickly as possible.
Prevent Damage From Thieves or Others
Building security often comes down to taking the right preventative measures. Help prevent business burglary through:
- Good lighting - Lighting can be an effective deterrent against crime, both inside your business and outside the building . Make sure the light fixtures are in good working order. Use light cages to prevent bulb breakage. Replace burned-out bulbs as quickly as possible.
- Burglar-resistant glazing can help increase security. Make sure all
locks and latches work.
- Doors and door locks - All building doors should be made of solid-core wood or metal and fit tightly into their frames. Make sure the doors have heavy-duty deadbolt locks .
Protect Against Electrical Surges
- Make sure any surge protectors you purchase are listed as UL Standard 1449. This is a national benchmark and means the product has been thoroughly tested.
- Point-of-use devices can protect particular appliances in your home. However, a more comprehensive
approach to surge protection is to combine point-of-use devices with another device. Example devices to
pair with your point-of-use devices are service entrance surge protectors or electrical panel surge
- Direct lightning strikes are powerful enough to overwhelm even the best surge protection. That said, the ultimate surge protection is to unplug equipment from the wall if you suspect a surge might be coming.
Find Ways to Prevent and Detect Water Damage
Water damage in the workplace can be a major problem. Not only can it cost you quite a bit to clean up, but it can also slow - or even shut down - your business operations.
Be proactive in protecting against water damage:
- Replace appliances once their age exceeds their serviceable and defined lifetime.
- Keep your thermostat set to 64 degrees or higher; keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to get inside
against freezing pipes.
- Install water leak detection systems to help monitor where pipe leaks may occur, such as sinks,
commodes, water heaters, washing machines, etc.
- Passive water leak detection systems are intended to alert owners to possible water leaks,
using sensors that emit an audible alarm when water is present in the area. These are
available at local home improvement stores.
- Active whole business water shut-off systems will automatically shut off the water supply to the entire business when a water leak is detected in the operation.
- Passive water leak detection systems are intended to alert owners to possible water leaks, using sensors that emit an audible alarm when water is present in the area. These are available at local home improvement stores.
Purchase and Maintain Adequate Insurance Coverage
Although you can prepare for possible damage, there is still a chance that calamity will occur. As such, obtaining and maintaining the proper insurance is crucial. A well-planned business insurance policy can help to repair or replace your damaged or destroyed equipment after a covered loss.
Through your insurance company, you may be able to expedite the claims process if you've kept an up-to-date inventory of your business equipment. Remember to include leased equipment that is not specifically insured by the leasing company.