Here’s an unpleasant statistic guaranteed to keep a business owner tossing and turning at night: 50% of all commercial properties experience some kind of criminal damage or theft in their lifetime. But, because we really don’t want you sleeping tonight, we’ll also add that 10% of companies will be the victim of such crime this year alone.
Your business premise is a prime target for thieves and criminals. But this isn’t surprising.
Businesses are money-making machines. They are designed to pull profits, which means they more than likely hold valuable items. This may be stock and inventory, equipment and tools, or even data and customer information. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals want the physical assets that you’ve acquired. They want to take them from you.
The loss of such property can be a serious blow. Not only does it impact your insurance premiums and can be a severe financial drain, but theft or damage can result in major slowdowns and even harm your customer relationships.
Keeping physical assets secure is essential to avoid such calamity. But what can a business do to ensure their valuables aren't going to be swept away by a thief clutching a bag with a dollar sign?
Upgrade your security
What stops criminals robbing your business property? According to previous offenders, it’s the deterrence factors that really do the work. Most calculated crime is about risk versus reward. If your business security presents too much risk against the potential rewards, then criminals are going to look elsewhere. Upgrading your business security will ensure you have active deterrence methods in place to stop criminals attempting break-ins. This includes:
- CCTV cameras
- Smart locks and access controls
- Alarm systems
- Security lights
- Physical presence of security personnel
Nail everything down
Most criminals are opportunistic. They’ll see a chance for grabbing a quick buck and they’ll take it. High-level security equipment, such as cameras and alarms, can help fend off would-be opportunity snatchers, but sometimes it’s not enough.
When that happens and a thief gains access to your premises to steal goods, they’ll be doing so with the intent of it being a quick - get in and get out - job. In this circumstance, they’ll only be looking to take the easiest items to snatch. The cameras are rolling, the alarms are blaring and they don’t want to be hanging around.
This is when it pays to ‘nail’ down your valuables.
Now, this could literally mean nailing items down. Placing brackets on computers and attaching them to desks will stop thieves being able to lift them up and take them away. Nails don’t always have to be involved, though. Other methods of locking your workplace down includes making sure all items of value are placed in spaces such as desk drawers, which are then locked. If items are too big, use padlocks or chains to secure them to other areas of the property.
The simple idea behind the theory is this: ask yourself, “could somebody smash the window of my business property, jump in, pick up something important and leave?” If the answer is yes, take steps to make sure that your important items are harder to take than they currently are.
Secure valuable goods in safes
Not every criminal is going to be deterred by good security procedures and not everyone who manages to bypass them is going to have trouble stealing items locked down. While these protective methods may cause more trouble than they are worth for most, they don’t provide a complete answer to the thievery problem.
For that, you need to go one step further. To really sleep soundly at night, you need to know that, even if a criminal with premeditated intent was to gain entry to your business property with tools and bolt cutters, they still aren't getting their hands on your valuable assets.
The humble safe has been around for thousands of years. It’s been used throughout human history to keep people away from objects that don’t belong to them and, in 2018, their role is no different. Business safes offer a last and crucial line of protection. Placing your valuables within safes stops criminals that make it past all other security details from taking the most important assets you own. This may be:
- Files and documents
- Consumables or valuable stock
Given the role safes play in Hollywood movies, works of fiction and cheap hotel rooms, there is a certain level of mistrust surrounding them. However, safes are perhaps the ultimate protective method business can deploy when it comes to physical asset protection. Complete with different and often multiple access methods, from number combinations to biometric scans, near impossible to force open and — if fixed properly — also impossible to take from the business property, the use of a safe can ensure your valuables remain exactly where you need them to.
Hide items or move them offsite
Sometimes the simplest options are the best ones.
A thief cannot steal what they cannot find or see. For small and valuable items that you cannot place in a safe or take off-site for whatever reason, try and find a suitable hiding place. A hidden cache inside a desk drawer, beneath a seat, inside a mundane-looking filing box or behind books on a bookshelf are just a few examples.
If taking items off-site is a potential course of action, then keeping them with you will make them more secure. This includes items such as crucial files, laptops, USBs and smart devices. However, it’s important to be aware of insurance policy and data protection compliance. If taking items off-site breaks terms of conduct or means you are infringing upon laws or regulations, you’ll want to avoid taking actions that could lead to even worse problems than a break-in.