Protecting your office and equipment as well as your
employees' property from vandals and thieves should be an
important part of your safety program. There are a many ways to
safeguard your business, including the use of locks, key
control, lighting, and alarm systems.
Locks. Use of dead bolt locks, where appropriate, and
the use of double cylinder dead locks, requiring that a key be
used to open the door from either side, can go a long way in
discouraging burglary of tempting theft targets. Additionally,
you can get some discounts from your insurer when you are
adequately locked-up. But locks don't help if you don't remember
to use them. Be sure all doors and windows have locks and that
those locks are sturdy and, above all, used. Get into the
habit of checking all the doors and windows before you lock up
and leave for the night. Don't assume that because a door was
locked yesterday — and because you didn't see anyone use the
door — it is still locked. Be safe rather than sorry.
Key control. After proper locks are installed, key
control is also essential to making sure that the property
remains secure. To make sure keys don't fall into the wrong
- Issue as few keys as possible.
- Establish specific rules regarding the
"loaning-out" of keys by those to whom they are
- Take a periodic inventory of keys.
- Get keys that say "do not duplicate."
- Control who can make duplicate keys.
Remember, too, that locks aren't just for doors. There are
window locks, desk locks, file cabinet locks, and even computer
hard drive locks. Make sure you have keys and key control for
all of them.
Good lighting. Lighting, both indoor and outdoor, can
be of great assistance in burglary prevention. Darkness hides
burglars and makes their work easy. If you are trying to decide
whether to light an area, compare the expense of lighting the
area with what you'll lose if you are vandalized.
Consider timers that turn lights on at
certain intervals to keep thieves guessing as to
whether or not anyone is in your place of
You may also want to have motion-sensitive
lighting installed near doors and windows. It
serves a dual purpose; when thieves approach
your building, lights may surprise and deter
them, and when you or your employees approach in
the dark, it lights your way and makes your
Alarms. Burglar alarms, either silent or with a siren
or bell, should also be used as part of any burglary prevention
program. In deciding which type of system is best for your
business, decide first whether you want to catch the intruder
inside or outside your premises.
Since there are several types of alarm systems on the market
today, do your homework before buying a system and evaluate
several systems' benefits and drawbacks.