Ways to Prevent Burglary and Theft at a Building

‘Tis the season…holiday parties, early office closures, one or two late nights at work getting stuff done before closure for days or even a week — and guards let down, heightened senses lessened due to over-work or festivities. With all the various holidays and celebrations happening during the month of December, we’d all be wise to turn an eye quickly and fastidiously to preparations to prevent the uptick of burglaries and theft during these times.

If burglary is an opportunistic crime, are you doing all you can to arrest the opportunity? Let’s take a look at some ways to make your properties less attractive to thieves, and prevent burglary and theft at your, and your clients’, commercial properties.

Make sure to check that all of your security cameras are properly functioning and take note of any vulnerable spots.
Be proactive with security: it’s not just a one-and-done thing.
  • Make sure desirable areas have limited access, such as where money or a safe are kept. If only specific people are allowed into the room or area, keep a list of names and permission levels.

  • Do those entrances require keys?  Have “do not duplicate” on the keys, preventing copying.

  • If a tenant, resident or employee leaves, consider changing locks and passwords.

  • Take a walk around your property at night (when most commercial break-ins happen), looking at it in a different light, so to speak. Look at window, door, corner with a critical — even opportunistic — eye. Is the lighting adequate? Every corner lit up? How about the walls, is it possible to scale up to a window?  Do you have floodlights at entrances and exits? We’ve all heard the “going on vacation” trick about our homes, but it holds true for commercial properties also: consider installing a light-timer device, turning on various lights that can be seen through windows. If they’re set to turn on at, for instance, dusk, then that eliminates having to think about when closing up business at night.

  • Security cameras. Note the vulnerable spots during your walk-around. Make sure to go with a reputable company (ask us, or your insurance agent, for recommendations) with top-notch monitoring. If you go private, make sure everything is set up correctly.

  • Something that isn’t always considered is your property’s landscaping. Yes, tall hedges and blooming flower bushes look beautiful, but are they providing the perfect hiding place and cover? Consider cutting them back a bit to keep their beauty and aesthetics, but to not allow entry cover-ups. You might want to even consider planting a few strategically-placed thorny bushes and plants by  the easily-accessible windows as a bit of a deterrence.

  • Think about securing doors and windows, especially lower-level windows. Though security bars are not aesthetically pleasing, there are many newer ones that are made in more pleasant styles (such as curving and “flowery”). For vulnerable doors, a long-used idea are gates with a lock; many roll open and closed from side to side and others up and down, all with a simple but useful strong deadbolt lock.

No one likes to think about possibly becoming a victim of burglary or theft, but with some advanced planning and a critical eye, a little bit of forethought can end up saving your or your clients’ businesses.
Bonus Tips!
If you or your client is checking on the property frequently in an effort to deter burglary, remember to do so at different times. Don’t be predictable if someone is watching!

Many places want to post their party or “closed for the holidays” on social media. When doing so, be strategic with the photos, showing closed and locked doors, or a guard. Visiting your property? Post photos on social media showing that someone is visiting, whether just walking around or watering flowers. Be careful with this, and always assume there are those scanning social media for those prime opportunities.
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