Is Your Business Really as Safe and Secure as You Think?
One of the drawbacks of having a successful business is that there will be plenty of predators looking to score some easy money from you. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t really put a lot of thought into security measures – some even try to cut corners and save money on it – until they have had a major incident. If you don’t like dealing with problems only after they have caused you great loses, then it is best to consider the best security options early on. Here we will take a look at how criminals work, how easy it is to break into a building and some measures you can take to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.
Most burglars use unsophisticated, but very effective break in techniques
You will not be dealing with high-tech master thief dressed in all black, like Hollywood would have you believe. The average burglar has a set of simple and effective tools and employs his knowledge of security weak points gathered through reconnaissance work – casing your business for a few days – combined with a good amount of brute force. They will often climb through a broken side window or just sneak to a side door that can’t be seen from the street and take a big sledgehammer to it. Bolt cutters, sledgehammers and crowbars allow them to force their way through flimsy doors and cheap chains and locks. You need to have this in mind when investing in effective security measures.
These were all excellent security measures for resisting a break in, but it is wise to also have some means of discouraging potential burglars. It’s always better to prevent an incident than to have to make the best out of a bad situation. This is where some smart measures like trimming the hedges, avoiding planting bushes that someone can hide behind near a window and installing effective lighting on all entrances come into play. A well-lit building is a less attractive target, and you can have motion sensor lights on back and side doors that can’t be seen from the street, as a sudden light in an area where no one has a reason to be is an excellent indicator that something is wrong.
Only when you have secured the most obvious break in points, i.e. all the doors and windows, can you focus on such additional measures. A sturdy metal fence with barbed or razor wire along the top is a good idea for factories and storage areas where there is plenty of expensive equipment lying around. Guard dogs can also be a great deterrent. Advertise the fact that you have an alarm, dog or other security measures by posting warning signs at the front gate or at the entrance doors.
Security, surveillance and alarm systems
Even a basic alarm system is enough to make a burglar nervous, as they don’t want any attention while they are trying to break in. However, while warning signs stating that the object is under surveillance and has an alarm system are good deterrents against inexperienced criminals, many seasoned criminals, or those with chemically impaired judgement, will decide to break in anyway if there are plenty of valuable items inside. With a good alarm system the police will be notified immediately, but depending on where your business is located their response time may be longer.
This is why you should look into reputable security companies and hire a security guard to patrol the area if you are located in a higher risk area or have very valuable equipment that you wish to protect. As mentioned previously, guard dogs are a great choice – not only are they deterrents, they are also exceptional at detecting intruders from a distance and serve both as an alarm and a highly-effective security guard that cannot be paid off or reasoned with.
Solid Core Doors
The basic level of protection needs to be something that is capable of immediately stopping an intruder. Side entrance doors on businesses and even interior doors leading to rooms with important equipment, e.g. a safe, should be sturdy. Good solid core doors with reinforced door frames will hold up even if faced with a fairly substantial amount of force. These doors are made with a core of solid exterior grade HMR timber which can take a lot of abuse, sandwiched between timber strips and with a layer of thin ply sheet on the outside layer as a finish. Solid core doors come in a variety of designs and allow your business to maintain an aesthetically pleasing design without compromising safety. You can even opt for double thickness to be on the safe side.
A deadbolt is your best choice, but it is important to add an additional level of security by installing one or two additional locks. This way, if someone barges the door trying to break in, the force will be more evenly distributed, making the entire structure more solid. A floor lock and/or an additional deadbolt higher up on the door are excellent options for doors with access to alleys on businesses in high risk areas. These doors can also be barred from the inside for additional strength. Solid core doors don’t just have to be the entrance doors – as they have a much better fire rating than flimsy traditional doors and provide a sound dampening effect, solid core doors can be used for internal applications as well.
By just installing modern windows you can kill several birds with one stone – save money on electrical bills and heating, reduce your carbon footprint and make it a lot more difficult for someone to break in. Modern glass, particularly on double pane windows and special burglar proof windows, is more difficult to break and the locks on them are very good. Be sure to invest in solid metal bars to ensure no one gets through the window any time soon. If you are concerned with the aesthetics, use bars for windows that are out of direct view from the street. Frosted windows prevent anyone from looking inside while casing your business, while plenty of natural light can go through.
Although proper safety measures will mean an additional expense, think of them as a long-term investment – static measures like solid core doors that, once in place, will ensure that you don’t lose money and valuable equipment due to break ins and random acts of vandalism.