As merchants spend more time selling online and less time in-store, they run the risk of leaving their brick-and-mortar business open to break-ins. Case in point: as of the fall of 2020, Philadelphia saw commercial burglaries soar 134%—an increase of over 1,300 incidents compared to 2019. The uptick in commercial break-ins is no coincidence—people are sheltering in place and working from home, so criminals are looking for other opportunities to make a quick buck. Here are a few ways you can protect your business from theft and vandalism during the pandemic.
- Consider installing an alarm system if you don’t already have one. If you do, make sure that the contact list is up to date.
- Post clear outward-facing signage to show that (1) the business is monitored by an alarm company and (2) no cash is kept on site.
- Install a camera surveillance system that allows the premises to be monitored online 24/7. Make sure that cameras are functional and angled properly to maximize the field of vision. Finally, ensure that the system saves the images to a network.
Light It Up
- Keep some of the interior lights on overnight to enhance video surveillance.
- Make sure that all exterior lighting is operational, especially at the rear and front entrances.
- Consider installing motion-sensor-activated lighting inside as well as outside the building.
- Remove all valuables from storefront displays to prevent smash-and-grab incidents.
- Move valuables like tablets and TVs so they are out of sight.
- Consider moving your most expensive inventory to an off-site facility (even your home).
- Remove all cash from the till and leave it open to show would-be thieves that there is no cash on the premises.
- Install latch guards on the doors to prevent potential intruders from prying them open. While you’re at it, ensure that all doors and windows are sturdy and properly secured and that the locking mechanisms are working properly. If you don’t have deadbolt locks on your doors, consider installing them.
- Remove material from around the property that could serve to break into the premises (anything like bricks, construction materials, etc.)
- Consider installing a security film on windows or glass doors to prevent easy entry.
- Avoid any kind of routine that might allow burglars to detect any patterns they can use to their advantage.
- Check on your business frequently (and at different times) and note any damage or possible tampering of windows or doors.
- Avoid opening your place of business before or after your regular hours. If you receive a request to open your location outside of these hours, contact the police.
- Review your insurance policies to make sure you’re covered and increase coverage if necessary.
With a few simple actions, you can significantly reduce chances of break-ins. Thieves will usually take the path of least resistance, so if your premises are protected, they will likely continue to an easier target.
Sekure Merchants Solutions products are all PCI compliant giving you peace of mind in knowing that the credit card transactions you process are guarded against fraud. For more solutions to help your business overcome COVID-related challenges, such as switching to an ecommerce solution or shifting towards curbside delivery or pickup, get in touch with Sekure today.