Business crime prevention advice: Commercial burglary prevention

Business crime prevention advice: Commercial burglary prevention

Businesses can reduce their vulnerability to burglary and deter potential burglars by making it as hard as possible to gain entry.

Consider the following options to deter burglars from your business:

  • Lighting - All entries and exits need to be well lit. Make sure the interior of the store is well lit after hours. Blinds or posters should not obscure the inside of the store, so people inside can see out and those outside can see in.
  • Doors - should all be in good condition. Check regularly for signs of tampering. Rear doors should be of heavy, solid construction, preferably with no windows. If the rear door must be open during business hours for ventilation purposes, install a lockable security screen that allows for ventilation and prevents unwarranted access. Always check who is at the door before opening by looking through a window or peephole.
  • Windows - Make sure that all windows can be secured in such a way that they cannot be tampered with from outside. Check all windows are shut and locked before closing up for the day; burglars will look for unsecured windows. If windows must be open during business hours for ventilation purposes, install lockable security stays to prevent unwanted access.
  • Locks - All doors, windows and skylights should be able to be secured, with the best possible locks, and checked regularly for signs of tampering. No lock is burglar proof, but the harder it is to gain entry, the longer it will take. This will increase the chances of the burglar getting caught and reduce the burglar’s opportunity and/or interest.
  • Roof - Make sure there is no easy access to the roof, from either inside or outside the building. Ensure ladders, rubbish bins or other objects are secured and do not provide access to the roof.
  • Alarm systems - Alarm all points of entry, and put up signs that say the premises are protected by an alarm system. Make sure the alarm system is installed by a reputable company, the alarm is monitored and contact details are kept up to date.
  • Keys - Limit access to keys, the safe, computerised records and alarm codes. Engrave ‘do not copy’ on store keys. Consider changing locks and access codes when a person’s employment is terminated, especially if you had problems with the employee.
  • Safes - Do not leave large amounts of money in the safe outside business hours. Consider putting up signs that state no cash is left on the premises overnight. Safes should be secured to the floor and not be visible from the outside.
  • Visitors - Challenge all strangers and do not allow them to wander around the premises on their own. Do not leave visitors unattended, and monitor the activities of contractors in your store.
  • Serial numbers - Keep a complete list of business equipment and record all serial numbers.
  • A property schedule - includes information about item brand/make model, description, serial number, colour/other features, value and purchase date.
  • Tailgating - Burglars and thieves often follow legitimate occupiers into buildings. Brief staff to ensure the door is closed/locked behind them when they enter the building. Have a policy that staff are to display identification at all times.
  • Video surveillance - Ensure the footage is of good quality, and when viewing the footage you can clearly identify those pictured and their actions. Make sure tapes and recording equipment are of good quality, and are secured and recycled according to the manufacturer’s specifications.