There are a number of inexpensive yet effective strategies a business can adopt to deter burglars.
It is important to keep in mind that security should be adapted to suit the needs of your individual business and remember that all solutions should be practical to your needs.
If you discover your business has been burgled, make sure you are safe and then contact police at your first opportunity. Police may need items for examination, so try not to touch or handle anything. Remember your actions and what you may have touched and advise the attending police.
To make your business more secure and less attractive to criminal activity, consider the following:
- Business Identification/Signage
- Fences and Gates
- Building Construction
- Power and Switchboards
- Doors, Windows and Glass
- Property Marking
- Alarm Systems
- Surveillance Equipment
To assist emergency services, it is important to make sure your business is easily identified in an emergency. To help identify your business you should:
- Make sure the business name, street and shop number is displayed in a prominent location at the front of your business
- Make sure the street number is at least 120 mm high although you should check with your for any council regulations in regards to this.
Warning signs should be strategically posted around the perimeter of your property, particularly near entry/exits as a deterrent to intruders. For example:
'Warning: these premises are under constant surveillance'
'Warning: trespassers will be prosecuted
'Warning: no large amounts of money kept on premises'
'Warning: monitored alarm in operation'
It is important to keep surrounding trees and shrubs trimmed away from doors and windows. This limits concealment and allows people walking past a clear and uninterrupted view, which makes it less likely to be broken into to. Other obstacles and rubbish should be removed from property boundaries, footpaths, driveways, car parks and buildings so offenders can’t hide behind them.
The boundary of the property should be clearly defined by boundary fences preferably of open style construction. This allows greater visibility to and from the street, restricts unauthorised access, and clearly defines your space. Gates should be secured with quality hardened or alloy chains and padlocks.
External night lighting will enable police, security guards or passing people to monitor activities within the premises. A limited amount of internal lighting should also be left on at night. Also, consider installing sensor lighting which is cost effective as it only activates when movement is detected within the zone.
The building floor, walls and ceiling should be of solid construction where possible, with clear lines of sight between the street, neighbouring properties and your business. Limit the number of entry and exit points to restrict unauthorised entry to your premises.
Restrict unauthorised access and tampering with the power supply by housing the switch board within a metal cabinet. It should then be secured with a lock approved by the local electricity authority.
Doors to the premises should be of solid construction, fitted with quality deadlocks
(Australian Standards Lock Sets are recommended). External windows and frames should be of solid construction, with key operated locks fitted to windows.
Glass within doors and windows can be re-enforced by:
- Reinforcing the existing glass with a shatter resistant film
- Replacing the existing glass with laminated glass
- Installing quality metal security grilles or shutters
Record descriptions, models and serial numbers of your business’s property and keep this record in a safe place. Property should be marked, engraved or microdotted. Property which can not be marked should be photographed. Read more about property marking.
Safes provide additional security for money, documents and other valuables. It’s recommended to purchase a safe that complies with the Australian Standards and anchor the safe to the floor, to prevent easy removal. Consider using a time delay safe with a drop-chute so staff can deposit money without accessing the safe.
For further security, a monitored intruder alarm system can be installed. This system should be designed and installed to comply with Australian Standards. Installation by a company licensed under the Queensland Security Providers Act is recommended., Remote on/off switches and movement detection devices should be strategically located around the premises and the controls should be concealed to restrict tampering.
When installing surveillance equipment:
- Cameras should be strategically installed inside or outside the premises to monitor these areas
- Cameras should monitor the cashier area, areas with expensive merchandise and areas with poor supervision
- Television monitors should enable staff to monitor activities on the camera
- Recording equipment should also be used
- VCR equipment should be secured in a locked metal cabinet away from the main console area to restrict tampering or theft of equipment
- At least 10 video tapes should be used to cycle through a seven day period (three tapes being used to replace damaged tapes or those used for evidence purposes)
- These video tapes also need to be replaced with new tapes every three months to ensure maximum quality reproduction