When you run a business, you naturally expect some bad things to happen now and then. It’s part of your risk management reality. But when someone burglarizes the business you’ve worked so long and hard to build, there’s something especially disturbing and personal about it. And it can be costly to clean up the mess, replace stolen items, and stay in business.
According to FBI crime statistics, burglaries in the U.S. have nearly doubled in the past decade. A burglary occurs every 12 seconds, adding up to an annual price tag of more than $3 billion. Your business is also a much more tempting target than your home, with electronics and other equipment typically used in a business, along with any cash or retail products you may have on hand. And since most small businesses don’t have the resources to spend on security that larger organizations have, they can be much more vulnerable to burglaries.
Don’t be an easy target. Take these 10 steps to deter burglars from targeting your business:
- Raise awareness. Make your employees aware of safety measures that can help deter burglaries, such as making sure doors and windows are secured when they leave, and keeping all keys secured.
- Alarm it. The most obvious deterrent is a burglar alarm. Shop around for a system that will meet your needs and your budget, and train your employees and any cleaning personnel how to use it.
- Light it up. Make sure your business is well lit outside and in to increase visibility and minimize hiding places.
- Put it on camera. If you can swing it, consider using cameras to monitor your entrances, exits, money-handling areas, and parking areas, and a high-quality video recorder to capture images of burglars.
- Make your intentions known. If you install surveillance equipment, put up signs saying that your building is being monitored.
- Make eye contact. By visually acknowledging customers as they enter your business, they’ll feel like you’ve recognized them, and it may hinder someone from trying to burglarize your business.
- Be smart with cash. Keep cash to a minimum to deter robberies and minimize the potential loss. Establish and maintain a schedule for taking deposits to the bank, but vary the time of day and route you take.
- Protect your valuables. Keep cash, checks, and valuable items in a high quality safe, preferably in a well-lit area with a camera trained on it.
- Keep a current inventory. Maintain current and accurate records of what’s in your building to aid in police investigations and insurance claim filing.
- Reach out. Foster relationships with local law enforcement and nearby businesses. Getting to know your neighbors can help ensure a safer community for everyone.
You can’t prevent every crime, but taking these measures can help make your business a less attractive target for burglars, giving them plenty of reasons to move on.