20 Ways to Protect your Business
There has been a noticeable upward trend in business robberies over the past decade according to the latest crime stats published by the South African Police Service (SAPS). The stats include robberies at places of entertainment, educational establishments, religious, cultural, governmental and other business premises (ranging from shops in malls to vendors selling goods along the street). The report also included the fact that “due to the high proportion of items without serial numbers stolen, it becomes a challenge to link stolen property recovered, when an arrest is made, to the crimes committed”.
Read the following tips to help YOU protect YOUR BUSINESS:
- MARK your business assets. DataDot provides various business products depending on the requirements of you - the customer. In each case microdots are brushed onto various locations on the business asset. The microdots are almost invisible to the naked eye, but can be detected by using a UV light and magnifying device. It's virtually impossible to locate and remove all the microdots, making it extremely difficult for thieves to sell your property without fear of being caught. Warning stickers and a warning board act as a further deterrent.
- Download the DataDot App and link the unique code on each DataDot to each item. The DataDot App acts as an Asset Register for your business and can be accessed by the SAPS if your business assets are recovered.
- Try and ensure that all parts of your business or store can be easily seen. Security mirrors and surveillance cameras allow your employees to monitor the premises and if clearly visible send a warning message to potential thieves. Cameras are also a source of evidence when there are no witnesses to a burglary.
- Install a security system and link your business to an armed response company. Take every alarm activation seriously. Should you be in a high risk area, employ the services of a Guard and watch dog.
- Make bank deposits during the day and vary the times of deposit and the route you take to get to the bank.
- Ensure all doors – security and exterior are secure. Take time to choose a reputable supplier who can advise you.
- Make sure all your locks and padlocks are a reputable brand. Engage the services of trustworthy locksmith.
- All windows should have secure locks, burglar-resistant glass treatments or strong burglar bars. In addition a glass break sensor alarm linked to the security system will scare intruders before they can enter the building. The placing of heavy metal grates on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows) will also restrict or prevent entry. A cost effective way to protect windows is to invest in a heavy window screen.
- Ensure your entire premises is well lit – both inside and out and especially so around doors and other entry points. Outside lights and power sources will need to be protected with vandal-proof covers.
- Cash Registers should be left open when empty and not in use.
- Keep your fireproof safe visible and securely fastened in a well lit area. Combination and key management should be monitored and managed carefully. It is advisable to keep the safe locked at all times.
- Always check the exterior of your building for possible weak points. Make sure the roof is secure and ensure good visibility by removing equipment and trash.
- Erect a perimeter fence good enough to keep intruders out but also to allow for good visibility by the police or armed response company.
- Do not keep a master key system (one key opens all locks). Keep keys in a secure place and record usage. Remove any numbers from the keys and implement a key coding procedure. Do not allow keys to be duplicated.
- Remove eye-catching and costly merchandise from shop windows at night.
- Train employees on how to act during a robbery that could result in violent behavior.
- Keep cash on hand at a minimum level and make bank deposits daily. Make sure you remove excess cash from the register several times a day and cash up an hour or so before closing.
- Put in place an opening and closing procedure that involves at least 2 people and includes a list of routine checks
- Treat night call outs with suspicion and never return to your business without first notifying someone. In addition – should there be evidence of a break-in call the police and arrange to meet them at the premises.
- Encourage the community to help protect your business against crime by teaming up with other local businesses. Appeal to local residents to report crimes to the police and inform you of any criminal activity. Actively support any local Policing Forums.