Business Security: Burglar Proof Your Windows and Doors
While you can’t always predict supply and demand, ensuring the protection of your business is one investment that always pays off.
Burglars are looking for one key feature in any business they “case” — simplicity. The more complicated the target, the higher the risk, and therefore the less attractive the target becomes. Which is why properly securing your doors and windows — the most likely and visible means of entry into your business — is so important.
Here are some business security measures that can help
burglar proof windows and doors at your commercial property.
Secure your windows
Start with newer windows made of hard-to-break glass or clear plastic. Laminated glass has plastic sheets between layers of glass making it look like safety glass, but without the easy shatter; it can handle repeated blows. Clear acrylic plastic is also shatterproof but susceptible to scratching.
Your windows should lock securely and shouldn’t need to be “forced.” Don’t rely solely on manufacturer supplied locks, it’s likely extra protection will be needed. Consider adding a security bar on side, rear or other windows that are attractive to burglars because they are out of view of passersby. Make sure the retaining bolts can’t be removed from the outside. But also be sure the bars comply with Fire Code requirements for inside release to allow escape in the case of a fire.
Keep your windows well-lit, even after hours or when your business isn’t open. A well-lit window provides a less appealing target for entry.
On the exterior of your building, try not to place items that can be used as stepping stones, particularly in areas that aren’t well-lit or highly visible. A planter or a cement ashtray may look nice by day, but by night they’re a convenient step to someone trying to get through your windows.
When installing windows, opt for raised windows rather than floor-to-ceiling styles. If you install large display windows and live in a rural area, you can also be at risk for damage from storms or unexpected visitors, such as the confused deer that burst through the front of a South Carolina gym in broad daylight.
Don’t leave high-value items on display in clear view from outside — either secure valuable items each evening, cover displays, or use shades on your windows to prevent criminals from seeing inside.
The best way to keep a “live” eye on your store is through technology; glass break sensors on first floor windows are an excellent solution, particularly when combined with a security system notification via phone app.
Secure your doors
Once your windows are secured, it’s time to create some burglar proof doors. Make sure you create an inconvenient space around your doors for thieves. Bright outdoor spotlights and commercial security cameras make criminals feel exposed and jumpy — and more likely to avoid your business when picking their next target.
Opt for strong wood, metal or glass exterior doors whenever possible. Solid doors should be at least 1 3/4 inches thick and wooden doors should be reinforced with 16-gauge sheet metal. If your business uses sliding doors, look into purchasing a tension bar to set into the track at night; this will prevent brute force entry. Hinges should be located on the inside or have non-removable pins.
If your door is solid, consider installing a full-range 180-degree peephole that lets you identify people at the door without them seeing you. It also allows you to check that no one may be hiding near the door waiting for it to be opened.
If you have deadbolts, make a habit of using them every evening — the few moments it takes, more than outweighs the regret of skipping this important step. Don’t leave spare sets of keys laying out or labeled as spare keys — make sure they’re hung someplace that’s both visible and only available to staff, so you’ll know immediately if they’re missing.
It makes sense for some businesses to invest in “smart” locks or access control systems that require an employee passcode or ID card to gain entry. These can be tied to a monitored business security system that notifies you whenever someone enters or exits the building on off hours. As long as your staff is diligent about keeping doors secured when they’re going through their opening or closing procedures, these locks afford you and your employees an extra layer of protection.
Even the best security measures can fail due to user error or apathy. Make sure your employees understand your closing procedures.
If your business security system uses an access control system, remind all employees that they may not share their individual access codes with anyone, nor should they use another employee’s code under any circumstances.
Stress that employees working closing shifts alone should not exit the store until they’re ready to leave for the evening. Leaving a back door open while the trash is being taken out or the cash drawer is being counted could provide a tempting target for a criminal.
Periodically “spot check” your business by testing doors and windows after-hours. This only takes a few minutes a month and will help you identify any ongoing compliance problems within your staff.
Consult the business security experts at Bay Alarm
You’ve worked hard for the success and profit your business delivers — don’t let an opportunistic criminal interfere with that! A professional security alarm company like Bay Alarm can help you plan, install, and test your business window and door security measures to ensure they meet all safety code requirements.