more reading on..... Where burglars fear

Where burglars fear to tread

You can prevent your business premises from being broken into by taking several sensible measures

You need a combination of good security features, alertness and common sense 

It is quite common to see a rise in the crime rate during an economic downturn. Among the most prevalent crimes are burglary and robbery.

If you are a businessman, you have enough to worry about without having to contend with losses as a result of burglary to your premises, don't you agree? So the most sensible thing to do is to take precautions to minimise the chances of your premises being burgled.  

Many professionals in the security business will tell you that to minimise loss in the event of burglary, you need a combination of good security features, alertness and common sense.

The first thing you should do to deter burglars is to install good locks. Particular attention should be paid to exterior doors - they should have deadbolt locks. Security experts would also advise you to secure all exposed exterior door hinge pins to prevent their removal.

If your business is located in a building that has a large expanse of glass on the exterior facade, you should protect these areas by using bars, metal screens or burglary-resistant glazing materials - in other words, shatter-proof glass - to deter burglars from breaking in. Burglar-resistant glass is a laminated sandwich comprising a sheet of invisible plastic compressed between two sheets of glass and mounted like ordinary plate glass.

When used in exterior doors, windows, display windows, and in interior showcases, this type of glass deters burglars. It has a high tensile strength that allows it to take considerable beating and is therefore useful in areas with vandalism problems. Of course, it can be broken with continual hammering - such as with a sledge-hammer or a hefty baseball bat. But it will not shatter; instead it will crack but will still be held together. The burglar who is patient enough to bang a hole in the glass will find it bordered by a barrier of jagged glass icicles.

Besides these measures, you should install a security system on the premises - preferably an alarm system that is monitored offsite. With the advances in technology these days, proprietors can choose where the alarm signal should be sent.

The alarm system could be monitored by the security firm itself, which would then contact the police; alternatively the warning signals could be routed to the nearest police station or even directly to your handphone.

To complement the alarm system, you could also opt to have a private police or security patrol - especially if your company has a valuable inventory. Many a burglary has been foiled by the intervention of security guards onsite. At other times, they can discover the break-in shortly after it occurs and nab the culprit.

In either case, their prompt action in notifying the police can increase the likelihood of catching the culprit and recovering your merchandise and money. A private patrol is also qualified to testify on the condition of the premises prior to a crime, which would help expedite the payment of insurance claims.

Some security agencies also offer watchdog services. You could use these services on a sort of spot-check basis a few nights a week to deter burglars. In fact, according to experts, watchdogs are possibly one of the best burglary deterrents. A good guard dog would alert people nearby when an unfamiliar person enters the property. It is also a signal to a burglar that he's unwelcome and should look elsewhere for easier pickings, unless he is willing to risk potential injury and capture.

If you opt to have such a service, you should also post "beware of dog" signs or stickers around the property as a further deterrent.

Another precautionary measure is to install camera equipment on the premises that can photograph robbers, especially when you have valuable merchandise.

If your company is involved in retail products, security experts would advise that you keep as little cash on the premises as possible as cash on hand is often the primary lure for robbers. Do not set up cashier operations so that they are visible to outsiders - the sight of money can be a temptation. Balance your register an hour or two before and not at closing time, which could be late. Make it a rule to keep your safe locked even during business hours.

Make daily bank deposits. Check the amount of cash in your register and remove all excess cash several times a day. When going to the bank, take a different route each day and vary the time of the deposit. Remember though, that it is not only cash that lures burglars but also easy to move - and easy to sell on the black market - computer equipment. To protect your equipment you should clamp or lock your computers to the desks or workstations. Security kits for such purposes are available and fairly reasonably priced.

You should also maintain records of serial numbers for all computer equipment. However, to be realistic, there is little chance of recovery when computers are stolen. To ensure that not everything is lost in the case of burglary, you should also back up your company's data and programs on a regular basis and store them elsewhere.

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^ Article extracted from NST Property Times - Signed&Safe


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