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Commercial Burglary - Prevention Tips

  • Lock it up!

  • Greet every person entering your business.

  • Establish security policies & procedures, then abide by them.

  • Use good locks, safes, & alarm systems.

Doors/Entrances:  If wooden, solid core, or metal reinforced doors should be used.  Exterior glass doors or glass windows in wooden/metal-reinforced doors should be constructed of strong glass or laminated glass to increase strength.  Doors without windows should have a wide-angle (180 degree) viewfinder installed (be aware that installing these viewfinders may violate the door's warranty and reduce its fire rating).  Door locks should be at least single deadbolt with a minimum number of keys available.  Locks should be immediately re-keyed when a key is lost or when an employee leaves employment.  You should use non-duplication keys to reduce the risk of unauthorized key reproduction.

Windows/Openings:  Windows should also be of strong glass or laminated glass to increase their strength.  After market treatments are now available to help prevent breakage during "smash & grab" style thefts. Use window locks to prevent easy access.  Secure crawl spaces, ventilation windows, attics connecting to neighboring businesses, and any other opening.  Seal mail slots in or near doors if a wire device can be inserted to release the door lock.

Roofs:  Use a shrouding device on any roof access ladders to prevent unauthorized access.  Tree limbs should be trimmed to prevent climbing to gain roof access.  Other ways of gaining roof access are drain pipes, antenna towers, and adjoining roofs.  Secure rooftop skylights, air conditioning and heating ducts, and other potential openings with grating.  If they cannot be secured adequately, you may want to consider alarming these access points.

Fencing &  Walls:  A fence, when feasible, is the first line of defense against the thief.  Fences and walls should be barriers to people but not for observation.  CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles and techniques should be employed so a wall doesn't become a shield for a criminal to hide behind while breaking into you business.

Landscaping & Lighting:  Another area where CPTED is essential is in landscaping.  Shrubs and trees should conform to the 2 foot 6 foot rule.  Shrubs trimmed to 2 feet in height and tree canopies trimmed to 6 feet and above.  This keeps plants from becoming hiding spots for criminals to commit their crimes.  Shrubs that offer prickly leaves, called "hostile vegetation" can offer another layer of prevention.

Good lighting is a few more layers of prevention.  Obviously it offers a better opportunity for passersby to view any activity, but it also offers a psychological deterrent.  You may also consider leaving a few low wattage lights on the inside back area of the business after closing to silhouette intruders but not create any glare that might obstruct the view from the outside.

Landscaping and lighting offer an abundance of crime prevention strategies.  To better understand how these aspects can help you, please contact our Neighborhood Affairs Liaison for a free Security Survey of your business.

Safes:  Do not leave large amounts of money in your business.  If you use a safe, it should exceed 500 lbs or be bolted to the floor and fire resistant.