Burglary theft vandalism break-ins – these are all an unfortunate reality of life wherever humans are found. Alberta is no exception. While these criminal activities always cause an inconvenience to their victims for a business the repercussions can be much more than inconvenience – it can be the difference between whether the business remains or if it shuts down.
Of course you should have insurance to cover you in the event that your business does suffer a loss due to such crimes but as you know prevention is always key. It is best not to be a victim in the first place. To ensure that your business is protected there are preventative steps you can take:
If your business premises look like an abandoned warehouse in the evenings because you have not installed sufficient lights around your grounds it will inevitably attract vandals and other people with criminal intent. Lights outside your premises are called “security lights��? for a reason – while it cannot stop a break-in lighting does serve as a deterrent because criminals know they’re more likely to be seen when in a brightly lit place. So light up your premises!
Install an Alarm. Alarms vary in their function and capability; some are basic entry sensors that let you know when someone has entered your premises others combine entry and motion sensors as well as smoke and heat detection capabilities to protect you against fire. Some can be installed inside the premises and they transmit emergency signals once a person is inside others go one step further and detect movement around the perimeters – on the outside – of your business. The sensors are set up in such a way that when they go off they transmit emergency signals via a phone line (mobile or landline) or through broadband internet connection to a security monitoring station which can then stop the burglary in progress. Such alarms also have the additional benefit of serving as a deterrent to would-be burglars.
Surveillance cameras are a great security system for businesses. They keep video evidence of who enters your premises and also allow you and/or a security service provider to monitor what is going on in your premises in real time. You can install a single camera to monitor vulnerable areas of your business such as where money is handled or where stock is kept or you could choose to monitor everything that happens at your business using multi-camera systems. These days many cameras are made to be weatherproof so they are safe to use outdoors.
4. Connect to a dispatch service.
For the camera and alarm systems referred to above to be really useful they need to be connected to a security dispatch system. Unless you plan on staying up all night every day to monitor your own alarm system and cameras which you don’t. There are several companies that offer monitoring services and they dispatch uniformed guards to your business if an alarm is triggered. The guards perform a perimeter check and identifies the cause of the alarm and will also alert police if criminal activity is detected.
5. Secure your data.
The face of business has changed; these days data is as much a commodity as whatever products or service your business provides. So don’t be surprised to learn that the sensitive information your business collects as part of doing business is a big draw for criminals. That’s right; some criminals are not interested in stealing the gadgets you sell but certainly want the data you store – things like customer and employee information and your financial records. So your security measures must consider this and fit the need. To protect against theft of data ensure that you use proper encryption to protect the data you collect particularly sensitive ones and better still store your data outside of your business with a secure storage solution provider.
Some businesses have peculiar characteristics which may require other forms of security; in fact your insurance policy may require you to take certain types of security measures for your policy to be valid. Ensure you comply with these requirements. If you’re unsure whether your policy requires specific security measures speak to your broker.