|Business Burglary Prevention
Is your business safe from burglary? The following information is designed to help you fight business burglary from crime prevention approach. A crime prevention approach includes identifying areas of criminal vulnerability and implementing appropriate security measures to prevent your business from becoming a victim of a burglary. For your business burglary prevention program to be effective active participation, interest, and concern is needed.
Remember the following:
- Consider key control. Are office keys, master keys, safe keys, and vehicle keys lying about? Do you know to whom your keys have been issued or entrusted? If you cannot answer these questions, your security risk factor is very high;
- Keep a record of all keys issued. Master keys and extra duplicates should be locked away for safe keeping. When a particular key is needed, everyone must sign for it's use;
- Have all keys stamped with the words "Do Not Duplicate";
- Familiarize your employees with your security systems and procedures. Efficient, alert, well informed, and understanding employees are necessary to help protect your business;
- The address and name of your business should be visible from the street. Use large, reflective numbers. Place large, reflective numbers on the roof of your building to assist police helicopter patrols in identifying your business.
- Issue ID badges to all employees and visitors. Question anyone in your business who does not have an ID badge; If practical, the entire perimeter of your property should be fenced. Depending on your location, barbed-wire topping may be recommended;
- When not in use, gates should be secured with quality padlocks and chains;
- Electronic gates, alarms, closed circuit television, two-way communications and electric eye gate openers assist in the detection and identification of intruders;
- Gates should have predetermined opening and locking schedules with one employee responsible for that duty;
- Post warning signs to encourage customers and employees to always lock their unattended vehicles and to lock any valuables in the trunk out of sight;
- Deny burglars access to your roof by securing ladders, pallets, boxes, and crates away from your building;
- Deny burglars a place to hide by keeping grass and shrubs trimmed and debris cleared away from your property;
- Alarms, trained guard dogs, and professional security also help deter burglars especially if there is property that must be stored outside.
At night, properly placed lighting can deter burglars. Lighting by itself does not prevent crime. Many times businesses are burglarized even though well lit, however proper lighting increases the chance that a burglar will be detected by a witness or police during the commission of the crime. The longer the burglar is exposed in a well lit area, the greater the chance of detection. Burglars do not want to be detected, and in most cases will choose a poorly lit business as a target. Unless you have formal or informal surveillance of an area, lighting may not always prevent crime. In fact, good lighting without surveillance may actually encourage criminal activity in some cases. Good surveillance and lighting used together, however, provide the business with the first line of defense against burglary.
The electricity provider for your business can provide information and install outdoor lighting.
Go to the following web sites for details:
- All exterior doors should be constructed of steel, aluminum alloy, or solid-core hardwood, with a minimum of 16-gauge steel on side and rear doors. Glass doors should have shatter resistant glass or plexiglass installed;
- Double doors should be secured with heavy duty multi-point, 3" long flush bolts;
- The frame of the door must be as strong as the door itself;
- Exterior swinging doors should have a one-inch dead bolt with a hardened steel insert and a free turning steel cylinder guard;
- Double throw cylinder locks are recommended where glass is located within 40 inches of the locking mechanism.
- Sliding glass windows and sash windows should have locking pins, bolts, locks, or swing latches to prevent opening from the building's exterior;
- Secure all windows. First floor windows should have shatter resistant glass installed.
- Install glass break sensors in alarm system in rooms with windows.
- To provide optimum window security install bars, grilles, grates, or heavy-duty wire screening;
- Skylights, ventilation openings, air conditioning/heating ducts and crawl spaces are all potential entry points for burglars. Permanently secure these openings by installing metal grilles or grates. If these openings cannot be secured, make sure they are protected by the alarm system.
To find out more information on different types of burglar resistant glass, including tempered glass, laminated glass, and plexiglass contact your local glass shop.
There are two basic types of intruder detection alarms, audible and silent. The basic purpose of an alarm device is to deter an intruder from entering your business or to alert law enforcement of an illegal entry. Alarms can also assist police in the apprehension of the suspect. Different types of alarm systems include:
- Glass Break Sensors
- Motion Sensors
- Photoelectric Sensors
- Door/Window Sensors
- Close Circuit Television Sensors (CCTV)
- Electronic Fences
- Electronic Doors and Gates
The most common assaults on padlocks are made with bolt-cutters or pry bars. Quality padlocks should have the following:
- Laminated or extruded cases;
- A hardened steel shackle at least 9/32" in diameter;
- A double locking bolt providing "heel and toe" locking;
- At least 5-pin tumblers in the cylinder and;
- A key-retaining feature that prevents removal of the key until the padlock is locked.
The chain, wire, or hasp that you use with the padlock should also be made of high quality hardened steel.