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BREAK-INS are a constant threat and worry for retailers and shop owners. Stepping up security and taking just a few precautionary measurescan protect premises and stock without incurring major costs.
A UK survey found that shops lose as much to burglars as they do to shoplifters, and having cash or goods stolen can be very costly and have a serious impact on both the viability of businesses and your insurance premiums.
Having suitable locks, an appropriate alarm system, adequate indoor and outside lighting and a secure safe will help to protect your business from burglars. Owners of high-risk stores in areas with a reputation for rampant crime should also consider heavy window screens, burglar resistant glass windows and provision of CCTV.
Burglars typically spend five minutes at most trying to gain entry into a property so fitting high quality, resilient shutters or grilles to act as a barrier,prior to even gaining access to the doors or windows, will deter intruders.
It is vital to consider security of your premises to protect your stock, your staff and your business, but all too often, it is considered an afterthought and only taken seriously after a crime has taken place.Undertaking a thorough security assessment mitigates therisks. Itinvolvesinspecting the exterior of the business for any damage to doors and windows and checking that all locks and any fitted security alarms are working correctly.
A professional Master Locksmith Association-approved locksmith will be able to carry out a security assessment, check your locks and, where necessary, upgrade and fit the appropriate additional security hardware, including security grilles/gates, window film as well as top and bottom bolts to doors. You may even want to look at creating a “safe room” within your premises that be used to hold particularly valuable stock. Make sure that any security features you invest in are of good quality. For a list of security products that have been independently tested to help secure your business, visit:www.soldsecure.com.
Ill-secured and poorly maintained premises are an easy target, as it presents thieves with a relatively low risk and high gain opportunity. Maintenance is vital as rusted locks, chains and hasps and staples, cracked panes of glass and rotten frames and sills are all items that opportunistic thieves look out for so it’s essential to perform regular and thorough maintenance checks.
Don’t specify and fit locks or undertake repairs yourself as fitting the wrong products can undermine security and potentially affect insurance premiums/cover should the worst happen.
Other ways of improving security include alarms, outdoor security lighting - such as dusk till dawn and motion sensor lighting - and CCTV systems.Premises with high value items in plain sight are the most appealing so ensure valuable stock is stored out of view.
A burglar’s exit strategy often involves the rear of a property so high surrounding fences will put them off. A high fence is a simple and cost-effective way of safeguarding your business against potential burglars.
After unlocked doors, burglars see lock snapping as the easiest way in. To counter this, any lock cylinders on your doors should be approved to SS312 Diamond, or failing that have met the 3 Star TS007 Kitemark level. This is especially relevant for business premises as many have aluminium shop front doors that use Euro Cylinders. Bollards installed in front of premises are the ultimate deterrent against an attempted ram raid attack.
Image Dr Steffan George
To find a locksmith in your area visit the user-friendly MLA website at www.locksmiths.co.uk. To review a list of independently tested and approved security products visit the Sold Secure website at: www.soldsecure.com. Security guidelines for domestic properties can also be downloaded free of charge from http://www.locksmiths.co.uk/security-advice/security-guidelines-for-domestic-dwellings/.
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