How to Protect Your Business

  • Secure all obvious (and not so obvious) points of entry to your business. Pretend you are the burglar, stand outside of your store and plan how you would get in. Then install secure locks on all doors and windows. Remember, a cheap lock can be jimmied with a knife or plastic card, so use sturdy deadbolts on doors with glass panels. (Or have a locksmith inspect your entries and prescribe appropriate locks.)
  • Replace hollow-core doors with doors of solid construction.
  • Avoid displaying valuable goods in store-front windows, and install tempered or laminated glass or impact resistant plastic windows.
  • Brightly illuminate all entrances with vandal-proof fixtures.
  • Leave empty cash drawers open after hours.
  • Keep all shrubbery and debris away from windows and doors. Don't provide concealment or climbing platforms for the burglar.
  • Lock up all ladders, ropes, and tools that could help a burglar gain entry.
  • Install an alarm system, and check it regularly for failure.
  • Make frequent bank deposits at varied times. Use an armored car if feasible.
  • Teach employees to be aware of persons who are loitering or behaving in a suspicious manner. Such persons may be casing the premises for burglary, robbery, or shoplifting.
  • Do not work alone. If you must do so, leave a radio or television playing to suggest someone else is present.
  • If you are robbed, observe the robbers, rather than fighting them off. Call law enforcement authorities immediately afterward. Quickly jot down a description.
  • Advertise a policy of prosecuting all shoplifters, and stick to it.
  • Establish effective shoplifting deterrents within your business. First, heighten shoplifters' feelings of being watched. Second, minimize shoplifters' access to merchandise without inconveniencing customers more than is necessary.
  • Deter bad check artists by establishing a check-cashing policy. Make sure employees know and adhere to store policy.
  • Teach employees to exercise caution before accepting charge cards. Make sure cards are not expired, that they have not been altered, and that signatures bear a "reasonable resemblance."
  • In pinpointing sources of losses, do not overlook the possibility of internal theft. Surveys indicate that employee theft accounts for the biggest chunk of dollar losses to crime by businesses.
  • Maintain conscientious key control. Keys issued to employees should be stamped "Do Not Duplicate." Install new locks and issue new numbered keys whenever employees leave their jobs.

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