Armed robbers and intruders have targeted businesses and their staff in recent weeks, but business owners can reduce the risk of crime by being vigilant and taking simple steps to secure their business premises.
Blue International managing director Wade Anderson says the prime periods that most businesses are vulnerable are at opening and closing times as well as when staff go out during the day to the banking.
He offers the following sensible security tips to keep your staff and business premises secure and to reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals.
1. Bank Safely
Several crimes have been reported in recent months where business owners have been followed and targeted after drawing large sums of cash from the bank. Criminals stake out business premises to watch movements before striking so get the upper hand by varying the times that you make trips to the bank and always take at least one staff member with you. Before leaving the bank make sure that there are no suspicious individuals or vehicles nearby and that you are not being followed.
2. Avoid Hijacking
Business owners have been robbed or hijacked outside their business premises when arriving or leaving with most incidents occurring in the early morning, around lunchtime and in the late afternoon. Always check that there are no suspicious vehicles or individuals lurking near your premises before you open and rather take a drive around the block if you are concerned about any unusual activity. If the individuals have not moved away when you return, alert the police and your security company, to patrol or give you an escort.
3. Safe Alert
Incidents of safes being bombed where robbers have fled with the cash and other contents have been reported, so don’t keep large sums of cash or valuables on the premises. Robbers have also fled with small safes that they have not been able to open on site. Install a sign advising that cash is not kept on the premises.
4. SMS Service
Sign up for a security SMS service to receive notifications when your staff open and close your business premises. Selected staff members each receive a PIN number that will activate the sending of an SMS to your cellphone when they open and close the business every day. If for any reason your alarm is not switched on or off at your business’s regular closing and opening times your security company will be able to detect this and you will be alerted via SMS.
4. Update Data
Keep your security company informed of any changes to your business and personal contact details and remember to notify your security company if your business hours change for the holidays or any other reason.
5. Empower Staff
Regularly brief your staff on the importance of safety and security on the premises and train them to be alert to intruders and to any suspicious ‘customer’ behaviour. Ensure sufficient fixed panic buttons are installed on the premises and equip key staff with remote alarm panic buttons or with the cost effective ICE mobile panic button that is activated at the discreet press of a speed-dial key on a cellphone.
6. Upgrade Systems
Perform regular tests on your alarm system to ensure it is always working effectively. Consider upgrading your business’s security technology and consider installing CCTV surveillance cameras which can act as a deterrent against crime and can be used to assist the police and security companies during an investigation.