What to Do If Your Business is Broken Into
Have you been the victim of a burglary? It can be shocking to discover that your business has been broken into and you may feel upset and overwhelmed. This is completely normal, but there are steps you need to take in order to ensure your business is secured.
Immediately after the break in, you will have to deal with the authorities and trying to collect evidence and manage your insurance. However, once that is done, you’ll need to start picking up the pieces and getting your business back to functional.
Here’s what you should do if your business is burglarised.
Call the Police
Before anything else, you must call the authorities. You will need to report the crime and the sooner you do that, the more likely it is that the burglar will be caught.
If you think the burglar is still inside the building, stay outside and call the police from somewhere else. You don’t want a run-in with someone who may be armed and dangerous. Instead, wait for the police to arrive and let them know that you think someone is still inside. They will handle it from there.
In many cases, you will arrive after the burglar has escaped. This means you’ll still need to call but you should avoid going inside and touching anything. It’s all evidence and the police will need to look at it before you enter. As tempting as it may be to tidy up, it would be a bad idea. Wait until the police give you the all-clear to enter the building.
Talk to Your Bank
You will need to put a block on any debit or credit cards that were in the business. You’ll also need to ensure that anything with your financial data on it has not been taken. If it has, let your bank know right away.
Make a List of Stolen Goods
Ideally, you’ll have an inventory sheet already, so noting what is missing will not be too difficult. Check over everything in the building to see what has been taken. If possible, include details on your list, such as serial numbers, prices, etc.
If items that were used have been taken, such as a television set, computer, or other recognisable items, you can write down any identifying marks such as stickers, cracks, etc. This may help the police find your missing items. Collect any receipts you may have for the missing items.
Note the Damage
You will also need to write down and take photos of any damage that was done to the building. This may include door damage due to the break in or windows may have been broken. Whatever has happened, you should report this too.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Every business should have insurance, so this is the time to make use of it. The insurance company will help you fill out the right forms and make a claim. You’ll probably need proof of the police report for this.
Replace Any Broken Windows
Any damaged parts of the building will need to be replaced as soon as possible. If you leave your business with no window or with the door leaning to one side, it will be an invitation for further burglary. You need to immediately replace these.
Clean up any broken glass and call in a repair person to fix the windows.
Call a Locksmith
Now it’s time to bring in a locksmith. They will help you choose a better door and install it. If you have more than one door, you should replace them all with a stronger model. Ideally, you’ll also have metal door frames for added strength. Metal door frames are stronger than other types of door frames and are easy to install. If your building has a sturdy metal frame, it will be far more difficult for anyone to get through the door.
Your locksmith will suggest a sturdy door that should keep burglars out and they can also install upgraded locks. Consider opting for an electronic lock. These let you enter via key code, card or fob. These are simple ways to make sure your safety is a priority. It’s also easier to see who’s in the building at any given time. This way, you know if any employees are inside during a burglary or if someone shows up at a time they weren’t expected. These can help you narrow down any inside stealing.
However, the main reason to install an electronic lock is security. It is very hard to get past this type of lock.
Do a Risk Assessment
This is a good time to do a risk assessment for burglary. Consider where a criminal might come into the building and how they would most likely do this. The police may be willing to point out weak spots in your defence so you can focus on improving these.
Alternatively, your locksmith may point out areas of weakness and help you fix them. For example, if your windows don’t have locks on them or have locks that are quite easy to open from the outside, you should replace the locks and your locksmith will give you just what you need, making certain that your business is as secure as possible.
Upgrade Your Security
It can be difficult to feel safe again after a burglary but upgrading your security can really help. You’ll find that if you trust your locks, you’ll feel much better about the entire situation. However, it isn’t just about locks when it comes to security. You’ll also want:
You should know who your employees are and if they pose a risk to your business. Sometimes the burglary comes from the inside, so you need to carefully screen your employees and ensure they’re not taking anything from your business. Do background checks on everyone.
Electronic locks are a better way to secure your company and it’s something that you’ll end up appreciating for a long time to come. The locksmith will also ensure that the locks are properly installed to prevent easily ripping them out of the door frame.
Security cameras are a must if you want to prevent further break ins. The cameras will show you exactly what is happening in your business. It’s best to have a camera indoors, as well as a few outside. These will give you various angles. If there is another burglary, the cameras will make it easier to catch the culprit.
Security cameras are more discreet and much simpler to use these days. You can even control them from your smartphone so you can check in on the business at any point, monitoring it from anywhere in the world.
If you don’t already have an alarm system, you need one. This will immediately make your business less appealing to burglars. When they see the new locks and the closed windows, they’ll realise that you mean business, and most will prefer to go after a lesser target. However, an alarm system means that even if they do get in, the police will arrive shortly after.
Most locksmiths can also recommend a good alarm system so you should ask for recommendations. Be sure the alarm is attached to every possible window or door that could open. This will help prevent anyone from trying to get in as they’ll see the alarm set up.
A business burglary can be worrisome and it can have a huge impact on your business. If you want to prevent it from happening again, you need to take some decisive steps toward improving your security. Change the locks, add cameras, and make sure you do a risk assessment.