Retail shops have unique security challenges. Many are right on downtown streets that may have very little pedestrian traffic at night. And, most have large glass display windows. Here are some quick tips to help ensure you are protected from retail store burglaries when no one is minding the store.
If your store has a glass door or a display window, make sure those have reinforced glass. If you are not sure, ask your landlord. Most doors and windows use ordinary plate glass. This glass is extremely easy to break. Even if you have an alarm system that will alert police if the glass is broken, many burglars know that they can get in and out with a few expensive pieces before police arrive. There are two types of reinforced glass people think of. One is tempered, or toughened glass and the other is laminated glass or impact-resistant glass.
Tempered glass is special heat-treated glass that is 4 to 5 times harder than ordinary glass. It is not, however, shatter-proof. Whereas regular glass will absolutely break the first time something strikes it, tempered glass can be hit repeatedly with heavy objects without breaking. Then, something will strike it in a certain way and it will shatter. But it is definitely a better barrier than ordinary glass.
Laminated glass is like a glass sandwich. Two or more pieces of glass are bonded to a strong vinyl material. Even if something hits the glass, and it shatters, the vinyl in the middle will remain intact and hold the glass in place. You will see a spider web pattern of cracks around the point of impact, but no glass will fall to the ground, and no hole will open up to allow someone to climb through. Therefore, if a burglar was to break this glass, he would then have to cut through the material in the middle, and it’s unlikely he will do that. Laminated glass is more expensive than tempered glass but may provide more consistent protection in cases retail store burglaries.
There may be great public street-lighting in front of your store, but is there a dark alley running along the side? Is it dark behind your store? It is important that all areas around any possible access point have good lighting. Burglars love to use the cover of darkness to their advantage. Flood the area with light and you take that advantage away. You can use lighting that stays on all night, or you can use motion-activated lighting. As long as the area becomes bright when someone is near the building, you are in good shape.
There are huge differences among different locks. Some are incredibly easy to breach. Don’t count on your landlord to have installed the quality of locks you want. Even within lock types (i.e. deadbolt locks), there are big differences in quality. For example, Consumer Reports found that many locks could be disabled within two minutes using an ordinary cordless drill. Among the locks they tested, only the Medeco Maxum 11603 was able to withstand the drill.
Keyless locks and electronic locks are more convenient and less susceptible to picking, but many can still be disabled in seconds with a drill. Go for ANSI grade 1 locks, as they are made of stronger materials, and the bolts go further into the door frame for greater strength. First, select the type of lock that best suits your situation. Then, find the best lock of that type. Look for locks that resist picking, drilling and bumping. They will cost a little more, but they can make it much harder for people to break in. Have your locks installed by a trusted commercial local locksmith so you are sure they are installed correctly.
60% of burglars say they will not approach a place that has an alarm. Only 13% said that they would definitely continue to try to enter a place with an alarm. So, these are good deterrents against retail store burglaries. Sometimes, even a sign that indicates the presence of an alarm is enough to stop them. And, if you don’t want to invest in security cameras right away, they make some very convincing fake security cameras, complete with LED lights that should fool possible intruders into believing they are on camera.