Keeping your business premises safe is almost as important as getting the customers through the door – if your stock gets stolen overnight you could have all the customers in the world, but if you’re unable to fulfil their needs they will shop elsewhere. Most businesses have a burglar alarm, and it’s actually a requirement of many insurance companies, especially for high street or industrial estate based businesses which might be unobserved overnight. Here are our top 8 tips for keeping your business safe.
1. Set the alarm.
Although this sounds obvious, you will be surprised at the number of business owners who forget to set the alarm, or leave it unset because an employee is working late and they don’t have the codes to set the alarm when they leave. The alarm should be set every time you leave the premises unoccupied and be aware it could invalidate your insurance policy if you don’t.
2. Lock up valuables and ladders
A ladder lying around at the back of the shop might look like just a ladder to you and I, but to a burglar a ladder looks like a big key; it’s basically an invitation to burgle. Ladders should never be left accessible to all and sundry, and it’s worth getting your neighbours on board with this too. If you’re expecting a delivery and you not going to be there to receive it, ensure that you have made arrangements for someone else to receive it on your behalf, as stock left unattended is just waiting to be stolen. Any tools, signs, equipment or other essential items for your business should also be put inside and locked away every night.
3. Check your boundaries
Routinely check the walls, fences and other structures that surround your business. Is there any damage that could be a weak point for thieves to enter? Are there overgrown trees providing a natural ladder? Any breaches found need to be repaired as soon as possible. Remember if you have a gate that needs to be locked every night as well.
4. Look at where you leave vehicle keys
Do you leave van keys on the counter? Are they in sight of customers? Do you (and we hope no-one still does this) leave keys under the wheel arch? These practices make it incredibly easy for thieves to steal your vehicle, and even worse, they could even pretend to be an employee, defrauding your customers and damaging your reputation in the process.
5. Have your alarm system monitored
If you have an alarm system, consider getting a monitoring service as well. These services can alert the police to a break in while it is happening, increasing the chances of the police catching the culprits.
6. Install CCTV
CCTV is invaluable in the fight against crime and it can often make the difference between a conviction and freedom for the criminal. Most councils have CCTV systems in place in retail areas but don’t rely on their coverage, especially if you have a yard area which won’t be covered, but which will be the place a burglar would enter from. Your CCTV system can also be monitored, allowing monitors to track criminals and get the best footage. CCTV will also decrease the likelihood of false positive alarm reports.
7. Check the premises before you leave at night
Of course, following our tips you will have checked the perimeter regularly, locked up any valuables and ladders and will be setting your alarm when you leave, but the final check is to ensure all windows and doors are shut and securely locked. If an employee has opened an upstairs window you might not be aware of it, and you could leave, set the alarm and be at home with your feet up while someone climbs in through that open window and ransacks your business. It only takes five minutes, but too many people overlook this easy final step.
8. Get personalised security advice
This is where we come in. We can visit your business and conduct a site survey, identifying what you’re doing well and where you could make improvements. We can suggest upgrades to alarm or camera systems, provide monitoring services and give you peace of mind that you are on top of your security arrangements.