15 Steps to Achieving Business Burglary/Theft Prevention

According to law enforcement statistics, ninety per cent of burglary and theft prevention is physical security. If your business is locked up and unauthorized entry is made difficult, time consuming, noisy and visible, chances of a successful theft or burglary are kept to a minimum. The thief/burglar will pass up your business and look for an easier target.


MAINTAIN GOOD VISIBILITY by not allowing landscaping, boxes, trash bins, vehicles or equipment near building where they might provide concealment or access to the roof.

BUILDING EXTERIOR should be checked including the roof, cellar and walls. Install razor wire where necessary. Secure all openings. Consider security cameras for all of these areas.

PERIMETER FENCES AND GATES need to be adequate enough to keep intruders out, and at the same time allow good visibility of your business by neighbors and police (i.e. vertical iron bar fence or 1/8 inch mesh vinyl coated chain link).

DUMMY OR FAKE SECURITY CAMERAS can be your first lines of defense. Professional dummy cameras look just like the real thing but cost a fraction of the actual cameras. Many fake cameras feature a real camera housing without the camera, a flashing LED, real video cable, weatherproof aluminum housings and a metal mounting bracket.

These fantastic fakes deter real crime from parking lots, near entrances to stores, and businesses, as well as from threats inside your establishment.

ALARM SYSTEM A licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station should supply you with an alarm system. Check the alarm system on a daily basis, and advertise its presence to deter break-ins. Alarm System Companies usually supplies stickers and signs announcing their presence.

SURVEILLANCE SECURITY SYSTEMS should have cameras in plain sight as well as hidden.
Security cameras are worthy allies to many companies in the detection and prevention of crime. To ensure the most effective surveillance of your business, the placement of your security cameras is of utmost importance.

The proper placement of security cameras coupled with a recorder permits you to maintain a record of many activities around and in your complex, and you will be able to easily identify a person by the clothes he or she is wearing.

LOCKS on all outside entrances and inside security doors should be double cylinder deadbolts with moveable collars. The deadbolt should have at least one inch throw containing a hardened steel insert and protected by a latch guard.

PADLOCKS should be of hardened steel, mounted on bolted hasps and always locked to prevent exchange. Serial numbers should be filed off to prevent new keys from being made.

DOORS (all outside or security doors) should be of solid construction, metal lined and secured with heavy metal crossbars. Jams around doors must be solid. All exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal.

WINDOWS should have secure locks. Burglar-resistant glass treatments are also recommended. An example would be the installation of polyester security film. However, this must be used in conjunction with the alarm’s glass break sensor.

Heavy metal grates may be used on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows). Check with the Fire Marshall for safety requirements.

LIGHTS must provide optimum visibility, both inside and out, with those outside having vandal-proof covers over the lights and power source. Entire perimeter must be well lit, especially the area around doors and other possible entry points.

CASH REGISTER should be kept in plain view from outside the building so it can be easily monitored and should be left open when empty and not in use. Above the cash register is the perfect place for a real security camera.

SAFE should be fire proof, burglar resistant, anchored securely and in plain view. Leave it open when it is empty, and use it to lock up valuables when business is closed. Change the combination whenever someone with access to it leaves your employment.

KEY CONTROL should be done in a responsible manner. A master key system where one key opens all locks may be convenient, but it may not be the best for security. Code all keys, keep them locked up when not in use, and do not allow employees to leave them lying around or make duplicates. Change locks whenever you suspect key security has been jeopardized.

ID NUMBERS should be marked on all equipment and stickers (such as Operation ID) should be displayed to make this plainly evident to would-be thieves. The best number to use is your personal Florida driver’s license number. Also keeping a record of serial numbers on all equipment may help in recovery.

In conclusion, the time and expenses incurred protecting your business and property is worth the effort and cost. One major unprotected break-in can cost you 10 times more money and time than all of the 15 measures for prevention outlined in this article.

These steps not only reduce the losses from theft and burglary, but also help in curbing crime and vandalism.
As an added bonus when your Insurance company is presented with these facts you stand a good chance at rate reduction.
Copyright © 2007 Jerry Tarrer