19 Oct 2018
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Starting a business requires a major leap of faith. It demands money, time, attention, and a whole lot of positive motivation. It takes years to build, and an emotional investment that is often far greater than other pursuits in life.
But what if everything you’ve worked so hard for is taken away from you in just one snap? This is what burglary does, whether at home or in your business establishment. According to commercial burglary statistics, out of the 1.58 million burglaries in 2015, around 450,000 or 28.4% were considered business burglary offenses.
As in a home burglary, commercial burglary includes the intent and act of stealing by unlawful entry. In commercial burglary, however, the points of interest are retail stores, shops, banks, office buildings, or any other type of commercial property. Burglars take cash, supplies, merchandise, tools, and practically anything of value. And, of course, they leave significant damage to the property — from shattered doors or windows to the utter chaos.
If you own a commercial property, make sure you do all you can to prevent this from happening. Don’t let these criminals steal your lifelong investment and break your spirit.
Improve the exterior
Burglars are outsiders looking in. If you don’t want them looking in too much, you must work on improving your exterior. This includes your door, windows, fence, gate, and your perimeter.
Doors should be heavy and sturdy. Solid wood or metal are ideal, but if you want glass doors, make sure they are at least laminated for increased strength. Reinforce your locks or use a digital access control system to prevent unauthorized entry. Your doors must always be in good condition, so regularly check for possible tampering.
Check your windows and make sure they are shut and locked before closing hours. If you need to open them during business hours for ventilation purposes, install a lockable security screen to prevent unwarranted access.
Don’t forget the roof as well. Thieves can access your property by going through the roof. Make sure your access ladders are not in plain sight.
If possible, business owners must also consider putting up a fence or gate to serve as first line of defense. They should be strong and high enough. If your property has plants and shrubs in front or around it, make sure they are well-maintained because burglars can use them as a hiding spot.
Protect your valuables
Burglars are going to want your cash and other valuables, and the first on their list would be the safe. For starters, you should not compromise and go for ones that are strong and secure.
As a rule, you should never leave large sums of money in your vault. The bank is a better place for keeping valuables. Make sure it is not visible from the outside and that it is secured to the floor so that it can’t be taken away.
Invest in a security system
Installing a reliable security system is perhaps the most sound and helpful among burglary prevention tips. Burglars are intimidated by them, with research showing that about 60% of burglars would seek an alternative target if they see an alarm. In addition, 74% of uncompleted or unsuccessful intrusions are credited to an alarm system.
The system usually includes surveillance cameras, alarms, and other detection equipment. It is important that the footage from the surveillance video is clear and of good quality so that the burglars may be easily identified during the investigation process.
It is also advised that business owners consider getting a professional alarm monitoring service that would monitor the commercial property especially during the night or once the shop is closed. A basic security monitoring service would monitor your property 24/7, send you alerts, and alert authorities should an intrusion occurs.
Burglars are afraid of the light. They want to go about their business inconspicuously, and the darker the surroundings, the better. This is why you should make sure that all points of entry or exit are well-lit even after, and especially after, business hours. Lights must be installed around entrances such as front and rear doors, windows, fence, gate, rooftops, and roof access ladders.
Installing motion-activated lights would also help because they can give the burglar the surprise of his life. As a bonus, these are also energy-efficient.
Limit access to keys
As much as you can, limit access to keys, the safe, alarm codes, and other records. Engrave a “do not copy” mark on the store keys so that potential thieves may not be able to duplicate them. It is also advisable to change locks and alarm codes, especially when they are known by an employee who had a disagreement with you.
Always keep a record
Keep a log or a record of all business equipment with their corresponding serial numbers. This is essential in tracking which equipment or valuable is missing. Your commercial property could be falling in the hands of insiders and people you trust, and you need to know about that as early as possible.
Commercial burglary is not just an attack on the business, it is always a personal one. This is the fruit of your labor and hard work, and should be protected and secured. Let intruders know, through efforts to secure your property, that you are watching them. They want to destroy everything you’ve built? Make sure you can give them a good fight.