Halloween Costumes Can Make You Scream – So Can Having Your Business Burglarized – 10 ways to keep your Commercial Property Safe

Halloween costumes are a scary thing for many this time of year. It is also frightening to know your business or commercial property has potential for being victimized. Here are 10 prevention measures to keep property safe from those things that go ‘bump’ in the night and ensure business owners from having a terrifying theft experience.

  1. Locks and Padlocks – Locks on all outside entrances and inside security doors should be double cylinder deadbolts with removable collars. The deadbolt should have at least one inch throw containing a hardened steel insert and protected by a latch guard. Padlocks should be of hardened steel, mounted on bolted hasps and always locked to prevent exchange. Serial numbers should be filed off to prevent new keys from being made.

  2. Doors – all outside and/or security doors should be of solid construction, metal lined and secured with heavy metal crossbars. Jams around doors must be solid. All exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal.

  3. Windows – should have secure locks. Burglar-resistant glass treatments are also recommended. An example would be the installation of polyester security. However, this must be used together with the alarm’s glass break sensor. Heavy metal grates may be used on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows). Check with your area Fire Code Inspector for safety requirements.

  4. Lights – must provide optimum visibility, both inside and out, with outside lights having vandal-proof covers over the lights and power sources. Your entire perimeter must be well lit, especially around doors and other possible entries.

  5. Alarm System – should be supplied and installed by a licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station. Check the alarm system on a daily basis, and advertise its presence to deter break-ins with the company’s sticker or yard sign.

  6. Cash Register – should be kept in plain view from outside the building so it can be easily monitored and should be left open when empty and not in use.

  7. Safe – should be fire proof, burglar resistant, anchored securely and in plain view. Leave it open when it is empty, and use it to lock up valuables when business is closed. Change the combination whenever someone with access is released from your employment.

  8. Building Exterior – should be checked including the roof, basement, and walls. Secure all openings. Maintain good visibility by not allowing landscaping, boxes, trash bins, vehicles, or equipment near your building where they might provide concealment or access to the roof.

  9. Perimeter Fences – need to be adequate enough to keep intruders out, and at the same time allow good visibility of your business by neighbors and police. A good example of fencing would be vertical iron bar or 1/8 inch mesh vinyl coated chain link.

  10. Key Control and ID Numbers – keys should be handed out in responsible manner. A master key system where one key open all locks may be convenient, but it may not be the best for security. Code all keys, keep them securely locked when not in use, and do not allow employees to leave them lying around or make duplicates. Change locks whenever you suspect key security has been jeopardized. Marking equipment with ID numbers should be displayed to make this plainly evident to would-be thieves. Also, keeping a record of serial numbers on all equipment may help in recovery.

There’s no one ‘quick fix’ for deterring thieves, but if certain precautions are taken, business owners will sleep soundly knowing they done what they can to prevent a ghoulish burglary of their property.

Michelle Annese is an instructor and lecturer of self-defense, safety awareness and fitness specializing in realtors and business professionals. She is a third degree Black Belt and holds rank in numerous martial arts styles along with exclusive training with law enforcement and personal security experts. Ms. Annese has studied extensively on criminal behavior and intent. She was inducted into the martial arts hall of fame in 2000 and Head women’s instructor of The Dragon Society International in 2004. Ms. Annese is the author of "The Realtor Survival Guide". She also writes many articles that include tips, self-defense strategies, personal protection techniques, safety product information and much more - aimed to help build awareness and to save lives. Ms. Annese resides in Virginia USA with her husband Frank and two young children.

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Michelle Annese