Sound the Alarm

Property theft, worker's comp scams, vandalism. As a business owner you don't want to think the worst about anybody, but it's only smart to protect your property now, rather than be sorry later.

The good news is that business owners have many choices when it comes to customizing their security strategies. Here are a few areas you can explore:

Access Control: As the name implies, access control systems help you monitor the admission of visitors and staff to specific areas of your workplace. If you have areas that should be access controlled, look for a security system that uses ID tags, proximity cards, fingerprints scanners, or coded keypads.

Alarm Systems: A lot has changed when it comes to commercial alarm systems. Business owners can monitor their property via pagers, PDAs, and other devices, and easily access all kinds of information. Whether you need to know the whereabouts of your employees or secure access to your facility, it is now possible to tailor your alarm system to meet those needs.

Video Surveillance: Closed-circuit cameras have been proven to help deter theft, spot falsified liability claims and document events so that your small business is better protected. Keep in mind that video surveillance cameras can raise privacy issues when not used with care.

Key Control: Keep a record of all your company's master keys and limit their access. Keep a log of who has access keys and make sure each key is clearly marked “Do Not Duplicate.” Enforce a company policy to prevent duplication of keys.

Outdoor Protection: There are numerous ways to protect your business from the outside. Consider installing motion-sensor lights, and light all points of entry with permanent fixtures that can't be easily tampered with. Also, consider installing safety glass.

Here are some additional security tips:
  • Set up your own neighborhood business watch program.
  • Ensure that the area outside your business is well-lit at night.
  • Update employees on recent crimes within your business' vicinity.
  • Review your lock-and-key procedures regularly.
  • Ensure signage and displays do not obstruct the view into the business.
  • Monitor on-site service people. Never leave them alone for too long.
  • Keep emergency numbers — and your address — posted near every phone.