We all know what to do once the store has been broken into; call the police, clean up the mess, and hope you get your stuff back. But once that’s happened, it’s too little, too late. You’ve lost merchandise, you have to replace anything damaged, and now your store is branded as a target of crime – making shoppers choose a safer locale instead of risking danger to themselves.
But by using five different tips, your store can not only be break-in proof, but the last choice on a criminal or punk-kid-on-a-dare’s list, saving you time, money, and a bad reputation.
- Light it Up
It’s late at night and you need to do some shopping; would you look at that, your favorite store is all lit up! Maybe they changed their hours and you’re in the clear after all! Then you roll up and find the place as deserted as come, all the lights on but nobody home. What’s the point of that?
These stores have the right idea. It’s easy to handle your shady dealings when it’s dark and quiet, but lights draw attention. Passersby will glance in, and a burglar’s movements won’t be hidden under the cover of night, making it easy for anyone on the street to notice someone moving around in there afterhours or spot the shattered winow and doors.
As an added advantage to store owners, if a criminal is cocky or stupid enough to try it anyways, now your security cameras don’t have to work as hard. Rather than investing in night vision for the lenses or accepting blind spots once the lights are out, a fully-lit store allows your cameras to keep trucking along with a perfect view of all dealings within. This gives your customers peace of mind that you value and protect your business, and their safety with it, and keeps your merchandise safe.
- Don’t be Afraid to Make Some Noise
Whether they’re stealing the Hope Diamond, millions of dollars, or the couple racks of beer from the local market, there’s one thing all thieves dread…tripping the alarms. Not only does that mean the cops are on their way – the deafening sound is a surefire way to send your heart rate up, tapping into that natural human instinct to flee. If a thief still has nerves of steel and speed to out-do the cops, that alarm will draw the attention of any passersby who all know what that sound means, increasing their chances of getting caught. That’s a big gamble, and most petty crooks will pick another locale without the alarms instead of testing their luck with a well-prepared store.
If you’re looking to catch a burglar, then a silent alarm will allow you to alert the authorities without tipping the crooks off, giving them less time to run, but this may also allow the thief to calmly and rationally proceed with the theft rather than slipping up thanks to fear.
- Let Criminals and Customers Know You’re Watching
No burglar wants to get caught, and if their chances of getting a pair of iron bracelets out of robbing your place are high, then is it worth throwing away their freedom for some loot? They can bide their time and choose a less protected store.
Making them decide that your store is not that second option is the key to fending off a break-in, and that starts by keeping them in the loop. Hidden security measures are scary, but not as scary as the ones they can see. Place cameras throughout your store so that there are no blind-spots, choose two or three major angles, and then broadcast it to your customers through a few screens. Even the mild mannered shoppers will feel the warning as they see themselves in the screen, and it begs the question: If this is what I can see, where are the cameras I can’t?
- Remove Temptation
Your display cases are wonderful for drawing the eye of passing customers, and locking the cash registers tight will discourage robbers because of the time it will take to break in, right? Wrong – it puts you first on their list. From the street, that display case is the perfect target of a quick rock, a quick grab, and a quick getaway without the risk of getting stuck in the store of having cameras catch their faces. Full cash registers are always a temptation, and even if yours are empty, that lock gives robbers a reason to suspect you’re protecting something – something worth breaking to get.
By leaving cash registers open, especially in view of customers, you’re showing criminals that there’s nothing worth stealing, so don’t bother. Removing the expensive or high-demand objects from your display cases at night removes the temptation to try a fast bit of looting from the sidewalk, and be sure to place them in a heavy safe. Keep that safe in open view, which may provide easier access to robbers but will also provide a better view for witnesses. Everyone knows what a person playing with a safe late at night means, and thieves don’t want that kind of attention.
- Strong Bars Make Good Customers
When it comes to making sure no one tries to reenact Mission Impossible III on your store, sometimes the best solutions are the easiest ones. Investing in a roll-down metal gate for your doors and windows prevents criminals from getting in with only a rock and some dedication – since none of that will get them past metal. While it does look unappealing to customers, you can roll it up during business hours. If your store is located in a high-crime area, then investing in burglar-proof glass gives you a second line of defense, and for particularly valuable goods, having self-locking burglar doors will make sure your goods and the criminal stay put. Once the alarm is tripped, the doors lock up tight to prevent the invader from leaving, giving the cops time to arrive.
Looking to install a security gate for your New York based business? Get in touch with New York Gates at 718-614-0616.