Minimize the risk of burglary

The aftermath of a burglary often requires repairs to damaged property, temporarily closing the business for investigation and repairs, and replacing stolen assets. It is interesting to note that businesses are four times more likely to be burglarized than homes and 95 per cent of businesses experience some sort of theft

Businesses without an alarm system are 4.5X more likely to be victims of burglary. Almost 58 per cent of these burglaries involved forcible entry with 50 per cent of burglaries occur through unlocked doors.

Many Canadian cities have seen business break-and-enters spike by 100 per cent to 500 per cent since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Commercial burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into a commercial property with the intent to attempt or commit theft. While Canada no longer uses the term “burglary” to name a Criminal Code Offence, the activities that were previously labelled as such, are now considered “breaking and entering.”

What attracts burglars to businesses

When scoping out a potential opportunity for a burglary, there are certain factors that burglars look for.

Neglected Properties: Damaged displays, outdated signs, burnt-out lightbulbs, messy entryways and dirty windows all signal neglected premises.

No Security Presence: Most thieves feel encouraged when they see that the premises aren’t monitored through surveillance cameras, alarms and security guards.

Easy Access: Without gates and metal grills on skylights, doors, and windows, burglars know that breaking in won’t be too difficult. Furthermore, displaying items beside these entry points is considered an invitation.

Limited Visibility: Dimly lit locations and an obstructed line of sight is sure to attract burglars.

How do burglars break in?

Burglary is a crime of opportunity. They will always choose the easiest way to enter. The most common ways that burglars break in are through windows or doors that are left open and unattended or are easily breached.

Front doors

The front door can often be the easiest entry point for burglars. They will look for hidden keys, force their way in, or the door will be unlocked.

Rear doors

Entry through rear doors is also very common since they are lower in traffic and are too often not monitored. Rolling overhead commercial doors can also be common entry point locations.

Windows

If doors don’t work, unlocked or weak window seals are a burglar’s best friend but they may not hesitate to shatter the glass in order to get in.

Prevent unwanted entry through windows and doors by locking them after hours and keeping security codes confidential. Locking the doors and windows or keeping a security code confidential may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many businesses fall victim to these missteps. If employees are careless with keys or security system passcodes, they could easily end up in the wrong hands making the front door an easy access point for thieves.

Burglary Prevention Tips for Businesses

1 Don’t tempt them with inventory
All high-value items should be stored in a locked casing, out of reach. Additionally, smaller, lightweight items that are easy to grab should be placed as far away from doors and windows as possible.

2 Replace traditional glass doors & windows
To deter burglars from doing a smash and grab, consider laminated doors and windows or, even better, tempered glass. Tempered glass is stronger and a lot louder when it breaks, drawing attention that thieves don’t want to attract.

3 Make break-ins difficult
If you’re in a high-risk area, discourage opportunistic burglars with bars on skylights, windows, and doors. Always lock doors and windows and use a double-cylinder deadlock when possible. This type of lock requires a key to open it from both sides, making it challenging for someone to break in and escape.

4 Make safes hidden and secure
Thieves know that valuable items are kept inside safes. If your business has a safe, then it should be kept in a location that is not visible to burglars, which will deter thieves from attempting to locate the safe. Additionally, secure the safe to the floor and leave minimal amounts of cash in it overnight.

5 Install a security system
The installation of a security system and cameras can be very effective burglar deterrents. Surveillance cameras provide a record of suspicious or criminal activity and help identify the criminals. Alarm systems notify the police and reduce theft after a break-in by driving criminals away faster. Criminals will often test the response by causing an alarm system activation without entering the premises and watching and timing a response.

6 Display security signs
Accompanying security devices with visible signage to inform individuals that cameras and alarm systems are present, will often work as a deterrent.

7 Keep premises clean and tidy
A well-cared-for property lets a burglar know that a close eye is kept on the premises. Signage should be up to date. All surfaces should be clean, including surrounding areas outside the business.

8 Increase visibility with lights
Your business should be well-lit inside and outside, especially at access points and areas within the location that contain high-value items.

9 Hire security personnel
The presence of security guards can be highly effective in deterring burglaries. In cases where burglaries do occur, security guards are professionally trained in emergency response procedures and offer an added layer of protection.

From Paladin Security

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