By Aaron Smith
Small businesses are four times more likely to be victims of burglaries than homes. In fact, according to the FBI 2016 crime statistics, the most recent available, there were 412,743 reported business burglaries, including offices and stores. No business is immune from burglars, who are always on the lookout for places that offer the easiest opportunity for success.
As a business owner, protecting your property and valuables should be a top priority. This starts by finding different ways you can discourage intruders from breaking into your business space. While there’s always a possibility that your business could be a target, the following specific steps can decrease the likelihood of a burglary taking place.
Do a Preliminary Analysis
The first step to ensuring burglary protection is to determine the risk to your business. Ask yourself some of these basic questions:
- Is your business located in a high-crime area? Your local police department should be able to provide you with the latest statistics on property crimes like shoplifting and burglaries in your area.
- Is it evident that you have significant cash or valuables stored on your premises? It could even be valuable data in computers or a local server. The last thing you want is losing critical business or customer data, for which your company could be held liable.
- Is your business merchandise considered a high-risk target for burglars, such as desirable consumer products like jewelry, home entertainment systems, or computer components? The more valuable it is, the higher the risk.
- Do you keep cash on the premises or in a safe? Do you make frequent bank deposits?
- Do you keep an up-to-date inventory of all your business valuables? This could be a target for burglars with other motives such as bigger robberies.
Once you have considered these questions, the next step is to look at your business through the eyes of a burglar, and look for weaknesses that would make you vulnerable. This will enable you to determine the most effective security solutions. It could be installing a complete security camera system, improving lighting within your premises, or upgrading your alarm system. Start by implementing these critical steps.
Regularly Change Entry and Safe Combinations
Whether you own a small business or a large business, it’s important to frequently change your entry and safe combinations, especially when an employee leaves. Even if you’re on good terms with an employee who leaves or resigns, don’t assume that everything is fine and will run as usual. Businesses have reported losing thousands of dollars when former employees used keys they copied (or failed to return) to gain access.
Such cases are pretty common, and the best way to protect yourself is with an access control system that enables you to manage who gains entry into your building and other critical and restricted areas like server rooms, safes, and stores. The risk of burglary from current and former employees is significant.
Invest in Proper Lighting Inside and Outside Your Premises
As the saying goes, burglary is often a crime of opportunity. If your property looks secure, it’s simply not an ideal target. But if the exterior of your building seems neglected with no signs of adequate security, you can easily be a target. If your business is located in a high-crime area, a poorly lit area, or a remote area, you need to take additional steps to secure it.
Invest in proper lighting both inside and outside. Points like backdoors, parking lots, and loading areas should also be well lit. Most burglaries at non-residential properties occur at night. Strategic installation of lights in entrances, exits, windows, and garages can help secure your property. You can even install motion-activated lights and combine them with alarms to catch burglars by surprise.
Re-Evaluate Your Surroundings and Landscaping
The last thing you want is to give potential burglars a place to hide as they make their way into your business building. As mentioned, proper lighting can help expose them. Re-evaluating your surroundings and landscaping is also important. Keep your landscaping simple with no tall trees near your windows or business walls. Instead, opt for small thorny bushes or shrubs near the entrances to help ward off burglars.
If the adjacent buildings have tall trees or vulnerable areas that could lead to access into your business premises, speak to the building owner and let them know about your concerns. You could get everything right about securing your business, but a burglar could still access your building via another weak point you may have overlooked.
Invest in Professional-Grade Video Surveillance Systems
One of the best ways to secure your business from burglars in 2019 is to invest in a professional-grade video surveillance system capable of delivering comprehensive coverage. Any sign of outdoor surveillance or other surveillance equipment in your building is a significant deterrent to burglars. When choosing a surveillance system, it’s best to select one with these key features:
- High definition resolution – 1920 x 1080 and above
- Infrared night vision and motion detection
- High digital zoom and wide-angle viewing
- Remote access via PC, mobile phone, and tablet
- Vandal-proof and weatherproof
- Easy setup and use
Let everyone know that you’re watching by installing clearly visible security cameras and placing surveillance signs at entrances, exits, and other vulnerable points. Burglars will avoid any place that potentially risks their identity. You should also be aware of the surveillance camera laws for businesses in your state so you can be sure you’re doing everything right.
Set Up a Reliable Alarm System
A surveillance system can be more effective when combined with a reliable alarm system. Over 80% of burglars incarcerated at various state prisons said that they would try to determine if there’s an alarm system at a building before attempting to break in. If there’s an alarm, 60% of them will seek an alternative target.
The presence of an alarm system with all of the bells and whistles is enough to deter would-be burglars. Installing window and door sensors, interior motion sensors, and active sirens that go on after detecting movement is critical. A good alarm system should be connected to your phone, so you can access it and check the security status from anywhere.
Get Expert Help
There are many companies helping businesses stay safe by providing premium security solutions like surveillance cameras and systems, alarm systems, and access entry systems. There’s a lot you need to consider when it comes to preventing burglaries at your business. Getting expert help can help you to find the best solutions. What matters most is taking the right steps and choosing the best security solutions to suit your burglary protection needs.
Aaron Smith is a technical writer and content strategist from Los Angeles, CA. He works with technology companies such as CCTV Security Pros to cover emerging trends in the tech sector and how they impact the security of business both physically and digitally.