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  • Business Security Tips

    Security considerations for businesses should include measures to prevent robberies as well as internal theft from employees. By following some of these basic safety tips you can greatly reduce your businesses vulnerability to crime.

    Basic security tips;
    • Keep up-to-date inventory records.
    • Mark equipment, including computers and cash registers with an identification number unique to the business.
    • Consider installing security cameras. They not only help discourage crime but can aid in identifing criminals and provide evidence.
    • Provide training on the proper security procedures for closing the business
    • Make sure that all outside entrances and inside security doors are able to be secured, preferably with deadbolt locks.
    • Windows also need to be secured. Consider installing metal grates on your windows. Remove valuable merchandise from display windows to discourage the "smash and grab" thefts.
    • Make sure you can see easily into your business after closing.
    • Check the parking lot for good lighting and unobstructed views.
    • Light the inside and outside of your business, especially around doors, windows, skylights, or other entry points.
    • Consider installing covers over exterior lights and power sources to deter tampering.
    • Install locking gates, and eliminate possible hiding places, such as trees, shrubbery, stairwells, and alleys.
    • Make sure that your entire sales floor can be easily viewed. Eliminate any blind spots that may hide a robbery in progress. Keep displays neat, and place small and valuable objects in cabinets. Ensure that your staff is familiar with all of the merchandise in the store.
    • Do not tag your keys with the name of your business. Change locks if the keys are lost or not returned by a former employee.
    • Install an enunciator on entrances to alert you that someone has entered your store or office.
    • Make bank deposits often and during business hours. Do not establish a regular pattern. Take different routes at different times during the day.
    • Think before talking about the details of your job or working on sensitive projects in public places such as restaurants, airplanes, classrooms, and gyms.
    • Think about what is on a piece of paper before you toss it into the trash. If it is sensitive information, tear it up or use a shredder.
    • Challenge any strangers who enter your work area. Ask for identification. Call a supervisor or security for help.
    • Organize a business watch, patterned after the Neighborhood Watch concept. Get to know the people who operate the businesses in your area. Watch for suspicious activity and report it to the police immediately. Advertise that you are a member.
    • After hours, do not work late alone. Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation or ask security to escort you.
    • If a thief confronts you or your employees, cooperate.
    The most dangerous crime businesses face is a robbery. Here are some tips on preventing and handling a robbery.

    Robbery Prevention Measures
    • Maintain a neat and well-stocked business both inside and out.
    • Remove any displays or stock that provide a hiding spot for the robber in the store and around the exterior of the building.
    • Greet or assist each customer as they come into the store. A robber will not want to be identified.
    • If a person appears to be loitering in the store, ask them if they need any assistance. The robber will not want to attract attention.
    • Keep active and alert in the store. Do not be caught off guard.
    • Avoid routines in patterns of work that may tip the robber off to the best time to strike.
    • Watch for suspicious loiterers outside, in cars, or on foot.
    • Have all side or service doors locked at all times.
    • Keep sight lines in and out of the store clear at all times by removing signs and displays from window areas.
    • Adequate lighting should be maintained both in and outside the business.
    • Note the possible hiding spots and escape routes around the business that a robber may use.
    • If your business is equipped with an alarm system, make certain that it is properly serviced and that all staff members are aware of how and when to use it.
    • Keep float levels at a minimum. Do not create an attractive target by having a large amount of cash in the till.
    • Do not count cash or open the safe in public view.
    • Make regular bank deposits but at irregular times. Do not set a pattern for the robber.
    • Where possible, make bank deposits during banking hours and use an unmarked package to transport the money.
    • Be suspicious of persons asking about your security or cash handling system.
    • Keep the police emergency number on or by the phone at all times.
    • Were possible, encourage police vehicles and taxis to use your business lot, especially during evening and night hours of operation.
    • Where possible, have deliveries made during evening or night hours of operation to promote increased activity around the store.
    • Where there are a number of businesses located close together, set up a "Buddy Call" system.
    • Make sure all employees are familiar with the use of the "panic" button of your alarm system, and with locking of doors.
    • If you become suspicious about a person or vehicle, note the description and contact the police immediately.

    During a Robbery
    • Handle the situation calmly. Do not panic.
    • Follow the robber's directions to the best of your ability without endangering your own life or that of your customers.
    • Do not argue or withhold cash from the robber.
    • Advise the robber if there are any other employees or customers in the store to avoid startling him and triggering an attack.
    • Remember to hand the robber the money with your recorded serial numbers.
    • Keep any note that the robber passes to you and handle it by the edges only.
    • Observe carefully so that you can describe and identify the robber to police later.
    • Remember any place the robber touches so the police can check the area for finger prints.
    • Do not attempt to overpower the robber. You do not know what type of concealed weapon the robber may have.
    • Watch the height marker as the robber leaves.
    • Remember, both during and after the robbery, that your safety and that of your customers is your main concern.

    After a Robbery
    • Quickly lock all doors to prevent the robber from getting back into the store, and to preserve evidence for the police.
    • While at the door, check the robber's escape route and / or vehicle being used, but do not endanger yourself.
    • If you have an alarm, activate it when you feel it is safe to do so.
    • Call the police immediately and tell them your name and the exact location of your business, the description of the robbers, direction of travel, and whether or not they are armed.
    • Do not hang up until the police officer does. He or she may wish to get more information.
    • Ask any witnesses to wait for the police to arrive.
    • Write down your observations as soon as possible as you will have to describe the robber to police.
    • Notify company officials / managers.
    • Be factual. Do not exaggerate. Do not estimate the value of property or the amount of cash stolen.

    Identifying a Robber
    • Practice identifying the robber with co-workers.
    • Recall any abnormalities, speech problems or scars on the robber.
    • Recall type of build, or estimate weight.
    • Recall type and colour of clothing worn.
    • Notice the direction in which the robber leaves.
    • Try to get a description and license number of the vehicle that the robber uses.
    • Be able to describe the size, type and colour of guns or any other weapons used in the robbery.







    Smiths Falls Police Service, 7 Hershey Drive, Smiths Falls, Ontario, K7A 4W7
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