The holiday season is here, and that means big profits for businesses and for those who prey on them. It is sad, but true that the number of thefts tend to increase during the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as well as in the days immediately following the holidays. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to focus on office security measures this holiday season.
According to one survey which an insurance company conducted earlier this year, almost one out of 10 businesses reported they were victims of a crime in 2016. This may sound high, but it actually does not accurately reflect the true scope of the problem. A large percentage of crimes against small businesses go unreported, and the truth is if you own a business, you are a prime target.
Don’t let your business, or the people who work for you, become another crime statistic. You can help to reduce the chance you will need to deal with property theft during the holidays or at any other time of the year by following these tips.
Ways to Reduce Crimes of Opportunity
The most frequent of all criminal activity affecting small business are crimes of opportunity. The people responsible for these unplanned thefts are not career criminals, but rather those who are unable to control a momentary urge to take something which doesn’t belong to them. While clients, customers, and guests of businesses commit a small portion of these types of crimes, company employees are the ones who are responsible for most of them. In fact, the stats on employee crime are staggering. An amazing 75 percent of employees have stolen at least once from an employer, and more than a third of staff members steal multiple times.
Although these types of crimes happen much more frequently than statistics show, the good news is these unplanned crimes are the easiest kind to prevent.
1. Know who is in the building at all times.
You can greatly increase the safety of your staff and improve security by knowing who is in the building at all times. Insist that guests sign in before being allowed into the office and require everyone, employees and registered guests, wear ID badges. ID badges allow people to recognize whether an unknown person belongs in the office or not. Employees should always escort guests wherever they go in the office. This is a simple way to increase office security!
2. Put it away and lock it up tight.
Out of sight and out of mind is a good saying to remember when it comes to stopping casual thieves in your building. Encourage your employees to avoid leaving personal property on their desk while at work and insist that they bring anything home at night. It is a good idea to secure company-owned equipment in lockable rooms, drawers or cabinets overnight or when they are not in use. You can add additional security by replacing the locks which come standard on office furniture since these are usually very easy to bypass. Here are a few tips on desk and filing cabinet security.
3. Have a security plan in place.
Establish guidelines for covering how to handle security issues in your office and train your employees to follow them. Ensure your entire staff knows what do if they come across an unknown person or witness any other security breaches. Consider assigning someone to make sure everything is removed or secured at the end of the day. Have procedures in place when employees need to stay late or come in early to help prevent opportunities for crimes to occur.
Protecting Your Business Against Professional Criminals
In spite of the fact that there is less of a chance of your business becoming the target of a burglary by a professional criminal, it is common enough for you to take a proactive approach to security. Unlike preventing casual crimes, thwarting professional criminals requires much more knowledge and sophistication.
It is a good idea to consult with a commercial locksmith or security firm before making any security plan for your office. Security companies can help you identify where your current security is weak and help you choose new security measures which will benefit your office the most during the holiday season and beyond. Most offices can improve their security by:
1. Installing solid exterior doors and strong locks.
Most businesses do little more than re-key the exterior locks when they move into a new space. Few companies go through the hassle and expense of replacing the exterior doors or the existing locks. This can be a very costly mistake. Make sure that all your exterior doors are manufactured from sheet steel and have modern deadbolts. Check that interior doors lock and important areas such as the server room and HR are capable of being completely locked down. You also need to keep in mind maintenance best practices.
2. Adding a high-end access control system.
An access control system helps to maintain security by allowing staff members the ability to access only the areas of the office they need to go to do their jobs. Today’s access control systems usually incorporate Electronic Physical Security (EPS) systems which employees use magnetic cards or biometric scans to access areas in the office. Many EPS systems are connected to burglar alarms to alert the police or security if someone attempts to bypass them.
3. Hooking up a surveillance system.
Installing a CCTV system in an office is a great way to protect against both professional criminals and more casual thieves. Today, you can choose from many types of surveillance systems. Select a small, discreet cameras you can easily conceal or go for a more traditional security cameras which sends a clear message you are always watching. Many of the available systems use motion detection and allow supervisors to instantly view any feed through the internet.
Need Help Securing Your Office this Holiday?
Great Valley Lockshop has been offering Philadelphia area businesses and residents quality security solutions since 1973. Find out how we can help you protect your business by calling 610-644-5334 or requesting a quote online!