Protect Your Business From Burglary

Feb 15, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

For many businesses making their way in a tough economy, burglary can mean the difference between staying afloat and going under. A few relatively simple and manageable precautions – designed to make a burglary much more difficult – can go a long way toward protecting your investment.

Make Your Business Uninviting To Intruders

Better Lighting

It might seem like a cat burglar cliché, but you can’t deny that intruders like to work in 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 try to enter. It’s also important to make sure that the lighting fixtures stay in good working order. The chance of breakage can be reduced by paying attention to where the 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 they could be a target of a quick “smash and grab.” A “smash and grab” is just what it sounds like: In a matter of seconds, thieves break a window, grab whatever’s nearby, and flee the scene.

A Well-Maintained Exterior

Overgrown shrubbery, vehicles, and trash dumpsters near the building provide excellent cover for burglars. Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed away from windows and doors can help minimize hiding places around buildings.

Make It Harder For A Burglar To Gain Entry

Windows

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 simply latches that can be pried open. Ask a locksmith or security supplier how you can select more secure window locks.

Doors

Consider installing exterior doors constructed from solid-core wood or metal that fit tightly into the doorframe. A heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a heavy-duty strike plate can be installed using three-inch screws that penetrate the wall stud. This, as well as doorjamb reinforcement, will provide extra strength if a criminal tries 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.

Increase The Chances That An Intruder Will Be Caught

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.

Detection Equipment

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 And Video Monitoring

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 footage. What you capture could play an important role in catching a thief and retrieving your property.

Check all alarms, services, and burglary equipment for Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. listings or other agency approvals to assure they meet quality standards.

Make It Hard For A Burglar To Remove 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 these in a safe for protection from burglars and fires.

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 would be noticed if they tried to open or remove the safe.

Stop It From Happening…Before It Happens

You’re a business owner, not a vigilante; chances are you don’t have time to guard your property 24 hours a day. However, it doesn’t take a superhero to take a few simple steps to make a burglary less likely.

Check those lights. Consider an alarm system. Reconsider your safe. Most burglaries can be prevented with a little foresight and planning.

It might seem like a cat burglar cliché, but you can’t deny that intruders like to work in the cover of darkness.

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