If you are a local retailer, you already face obstacles to your continued success due to COVID-19. At the same time, retail crime is a real problem whether it’s external or internal theft. Even if you carry insurance, the out-of-pocket expenses can reach thousands of dollars for lost inventory, property damage, and business interruptions. The best approach for you is to be proactive by following some simple steps to keep your business more secure.
Prevent Crime With Visual Deterrents
One highly effective method to prevent crime from happening to your business is to alert those would-criminals that you are prepared for them. Do this by posting signs that clearly show your premises is under 24-hour video surveillance, even if it is not. Attach a height marker to your door frame and add a sticker to your cash register which states excess cash is deposited in a drop safe that employees cannot access.
Train Your Employees To Spot Criminal Activity
Train your employees about warning signs of a potential robbery such as waiting for other customers to leave the store before approaching the register or loitering outside the store until a few minutes before closing time. Tell employees how they should react during a robbery and what they need to do immediately after one.
What should you tell them? A great resource is your local police department for the best methods to use. You want to prevent problems, but you also want your employees to be safe. You can also check with your insurance company. They may have very specific procedures for your employees to follow in order for any losses to be covered.
Keep displays low to make it easier to see what everyone in the store is doing. If your business has blind spots, install a wide-angle mirror to monitor the area. Don’t forget about what is going on outside. Don’t use window displays that obscure your line-of-sight.
Change Things Up
Change the time and route you take your daily deposit to the bank. Criminals will often spend days watching to learn your habits before they make their move. Never carry money in your hand, and always have at least two people make the drop-off. This helps prevent internal theft as well as protecting your employees from crime and false allegations.
PROFESSIONAL SECURITY MEASURES TO CONSIDER
Install Security Doors and Gates
Criminals are typically quite adept at breaking into most businesses after hours. Standard locks and plate-glass windows will do very little to stop a committed robber armed with a baseball bat or crowbar. Top-quality deadbolts and security gates are much more effective.
Add a Safe
If your business has valuable merchandise that remains at the store overnight, then you need to secure that inventory in high-quality safes. Make sure the safe you choose is designed for security and not just for protection against fires. Have a professional security company install your safe for more peace of mind.
In addition, initiate an inventory tracking system for your valuables that go into the safe each night. Log them in and out of the display cases and safe with at least two witnesses and signatures.
Install an Alarm System
Modern alarm systems will alert the police and you that someone broke into your business. Choose an alarm that connects directly with the local police department instead of a monitoring service. If you purchase a silent alarm, find how to add a panic button to use during a robbery when staff are on site.
Many municipalities require you to obtain a permit for such alarm systems. Check with the appropriate city or county agency first.