5 ways to discourage thieves


Is your business or commercial property safe from theft? Follow these five steps to protect your assets.


1. Make it difficult. It’s hard to stop a determined thief, but you can certainly slow them down. Remember, if there’s an easier target nearby, thieves will skip your business and move on.

Secure your office and shop with double cylinder deadbolt locks and metal doors. It takes more effort and makes more noise to break through a deadbolt. Go one step further and equip doors with anti-pry guards.

2. Hide it. Don’t leave computers, large-screen TVs, or valuable items where they can be seen from the outside. Thieves will case your property by peering in shop and office windows. If you can’t move valuable equipment, install curtains or blinds to hide it after hours.

Keep vehicle keys out of sight. Avoid using labeled key tags that clearly identify the corresponding vehicle or equipment. If that’s not realistic, get a locked key cabinet.

The same goes for laptops and other equipment transported in employee cars. Educate your team about the importance of concealing valuables, preferably in a locked trunk.

3. Illuminate it. While you want to hide what’s inside your building, you want to light up what’s outside. Light the entire perimeter if you can; if not, focus on doors and other possible entry points.

4. Mark it up. Mark all equipment with your company logo and a company ID, like your federal tax ID number. Put the logo somewhere conspicuous, but hide the ID number where thieves might not look. And, consider marking your equipment with fluorescent pink paint or other unusual color. 

Unique markings lower the desirability of stolen goods, and hidden ID numbers can help you identify equipment when it is recovered.

5. Alert and monitor. Alarm systems are a valuable tool for discouraging theft. Noise can alert people in the area that something is wrong and will probably reduce the time a burglar spends on your property. Surveillance systems also are available at a range of price points, from professionally monitored alarms to Internet-based camera systems that allow you to monitor and record your own facilities.

Protect your business by making yourself less of a target for crime. Take steps that will frustrate a thief and increase the likelihood they will be seen or heard if they decide to steal from you.

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