By Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief, ReHack.com
Cleaning up after a break-in is never easy. In addition to physical damage, the business owner must file reports, close the business temporarily, and investigate replacing stolen goods.
It’s possible for any business to deter these break-ins with the right process changes or store upgrades. These are six different ways your business can invest to prevent a break-in.
1. Improve Business Surveillance
Security cameras are one of the best defenses against break-ins that a business has. Modern security cameras are available at a wide range of price points and with a variety of advanced features — like motion tracking and IoT integration — that make them highly effective at monitoring business premises.
It’s important to remember, however, that a surveillance system works best when it is highly visible. If a would-be burglar sees the cameras you have installed, they may think twice about targeting your business. Less-visible cameras are harder to avoid but may not have the same deterring effect.
2. Secure All Entry Points
Most criminals will take the path of least resistance when looking for a target. Unlocked doors and windows — or visible keys inside a car — will make a building or vehicle a much more attractive target.
This means that when you or someone on your team locks up for the night, they should check both obvious entrances and less-obvious entry points like windows.
Changing your lock-up process so that you and your team have enough time to fully lock up the building after closing will help ensure there’s no easy way into the building or a nearby parked car.
3. Keep Valuables out of Sight
If a criminal can’t see anything worth breaking in for, they may not be as interested in your business.
This is one of the key advantages of security film, a protective window coating that helps reduce visibility from outside a building while strengthening the window against impacts.
Coating windows with security film — or shuttering display windows that need to remain mostly transparent — will help reduce the visibility of valuables inside the building.
Some security experts go further and advise that you fully replace windows with shutters or other structures. This can be cost-prohibitive, however, and a more affordable option like security film could be preferable.
Repositioning products and valuables inside can also help.
4. Track Building and Equipment Keys
It’s important to track every key that you issue to employees, contractors, and building guests. Ensure these keys are returned when an employee, contractor, or guest leaves your business or no longer needs 24/7 access. The greater the number of keys to your building out in the world, the more at risk your business will be.
If you have the resources to invest in business security upgrades, segmenting your business’s network of locks can help. Personalized key fobs or keycards will allow individuals access to only where they need to be, and can be remotely activated or deactivated as necessary.
5. Manage Obstacles That Limit Visibility
Tall hedges, trees, walls, and parked vehicles can all limit the visibility of cameras and employees. They can also cast shadows at night, creating areas of darkness where visibility will also be limited.
In some cases, removing these obstacles will provide your business with the best defense against criminals. Trimming or removing a hedge, for example, can help improve visibility and prevent it from blocking the line of sight of a security camera.
In other cases, installing additional lighting and cameras may be necessary to provide maximum visibility.
6. Install Building Alarms
An alarm system is an effective last line of defense. If security cameras, darkened windows, and locked entrances don’t deter a break-in, an alarm that triggers when a door is opened after-hours or a window is broken can help.
Like security cameras, a wide range of alarm systems are available, often at price points that most small businesses will find reasonable. These systems can be customized and modified based on your business’s needs, as well, helping to provide maximum protection against potential criminals.
Preventing Business Break-Ins
Some 20% of all small business insurance claims are due to burglaries and theft, with an average loss of around $8,000. But with the right precautions and assets in place, your business doesn’t have to be a statistic.
Devin Partida is an industrial tech writer and the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com, a digital magazine for all things technology, big data, cryptocurrency, and more. To read more from Devin, please check out the site.